On Tuesday this week Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s finance minister amid slogans by opposition presented the budget for the financial year 2016-2017. Despite of the huge criticism by the opposition the minister Muzafar termed it as a balanced budget. In KP’s total budget of RS505 billion the total of RS161bn was set aside for Annual Development Program (ADP) and the budget proposes to create more than 36 thousand jobs. Current budget’s outlay is 3 percent higher than the previous one. According to the budget documents province generated a revenue of RS 431.24bn against a target of RS 487.88bn.
Moreover government’s current expenses raised up to 10pc and pitched at RS344bn. RS222bn have been set aside for the general public services, RS1bn for recreation, culture and religion, RS19.6bn for health affairs, RS4.3bn for housing and community development,RS890 million for environmental protection,RS5.94bn for social protection and RS19.52bn for education affairs.
Keeping in view the current situation of law and order government it as need of hour to increase the defense budget. So special care has been taken for the public safety affairs during allocation of funds in budget 2016-17, which includes a considerable amount of RS15.091bn for defense affairs and services and RS41.96bn for public order and safety. Despite of the fact that government faced severe issues in meeting the revenue goals , formulating ADP and other finances on such a large scale was equivalent to throwing caution to the wind.
68pc of the revenue will be provided by the federal transfers given by National Finance Commission (NFC) award which equals RS 346.146bn. Province is estimated to generate RS 33.704bn in terms of hydel profit proceeds and its arrears. An amount of RS 75.605bn will be raised from foreign aid and RS 49.507bn from province’s own tax and non-tax revenue. Setting the target of such a huge amount of RS 49.507bn depicts that government has not learnt anything from past. This show the un-realistic and immature behavior of government towards the outgoing year’s facts and figures. In which government drastically failed to generate the targeted revenue RS 54.42bn and only managed to get RS 25.48bn.
Budget also suggests that the RS 339bn will be given to districts for development initiatives . The province is set to receive RS 36bn for foreign-funded projects and internal borrowing of RS 12.20bn for financing of ADP projects. Despite of accusations and allegations of opposition finance minister claimed that they had devoted most of the sources for long term public benefits.
According to the minister the pay of government employees will be increased by 10pc. Pensioners will also get a 10pc hike from july 1 . Those over 85 years will get an increase of 25pc. At the end of his speech minister described the new initiative being taken during the fiscal year including Swat expressway , project of planting 250 million trees and rapid bus transit for Peshawar which includes 100 air conditioned buses.