PESHAWAR: Provincial Minister for Finance, Muzaffar Said advocate said on Wednesday that KP Government despite limited financial resources has provided maximum relief to people and government employees in its budget for fiscal year 2016-17.

Terming the KP budget balanced and pro-poor, the Finance Minister assisted by Secretary Finance Ali Raza Bhutta said the KP Government has taken several important measures for solutions of basic problems of the province during last three years and provided maximum relief to needy people through Insaf Card Program and Seht Saholat (Health Facultative) Programmes.

He said reforms were introduced for betterment of educational organizations besides started Insaf Food Security Programme, billions tree tsunami, projects for beautification of Peshawar, establishment of child protection organization in Peshawar, special incentives for doctors, paramedics and other government employees.

The Minister said a comprehensive salary and pension package has been announced in the budget 2016-17 for government employees under which 10 percent interim allowance 2013 and 2014 would be merged into basic running pay of the provincial government employees besides 10 percent increase in their salaries.

The Minister said KP Government has provided maximum relief to pensioners by increasing 10 per cent in pension of retired employees and 25 per cent increase in the pension for the employees having more than 85 years age.

He said the rise in salaries, pension and allowance would cost Rs. 14.20 billion to provincial exchequer.

The Minister said financial matters of the province remained under immense stress due to natural calamities and non-payment of arrears that had forced the KP Government to slash its development budget 2016-17 by eight percent against current fiscal year.

He said total estimated receipts amount to Rs505billion whereas revenue generation has also been pitched at Rs505 billion that reflected balanced budget.

He said the budget has been divided into welfare, development and administrative, adding that Rs294.22 billion were allocated for welfare budget that was 61percent of the total budget 2016-17 and was 12 percent more against current fiscal year.

For administrative budget, he said, Rs49.78 billion were proposed for year 2016-17 that 10 percent of the total budget and three percent less of current fiscal.

Rs 161 billion were allocated for development budget for upcoming fiscal year that was 32 percent of the total budget and eight percent less of the current fiscal year.

The Minister said total outlay of the ADP 2016-17 was Rs161billion including Rs36 billion foreign assistance. The total outlay of the Provincial Development Program is Rs 125 billion comprising 1516 projects that included Rs113billion actual and Rs 12 billion loans.

The Minister while referring to salient features of the ADP 2016-17 said Rs111.52 billion were allocated for education that was 15 percent more than current fiscal. He said Rs38.42billion were earmarked for health sector in 2016-17 budget that was 28 percent more than current fiscal year.

The Government allocated Rs1.69billion for social welfare, special education and women development, Rs32.94billion for police, Rs3.42billion for irrigation and Rs3.80 billion for agriculture and Rs33.90billion for district governments.

The Minister said Provincial Development Program total outlay is Rs125 billion against which Rs12.20billion would be fulfilled through internal loans funds.

The Minister said no new tax has been imposed in the provincial budget but slight upward readjustments have been made in some other provincial taxes.

To a question, he said throw forward liabilities of three years was amounted to Rs491 billion. The Minister explained that the government would take Rs12billion loans for meeting its development programs in 2016-17 and added that his government would repay the loans for its own resources.

He said after passage of 18th amendment, the province has been authorized to raise loans on competitive rates.

The KP Government has setup KP revenue authority which has been assigned the task to collect sales taxes on the services.

The Government has proposed to increase the services sector in the first schedule of the sales tax.

The Minister said KP Govt was very serious to Chesma Right Bank Canal project and would fully cooperate with Federal Government in completion of this mega project that would bring green revolution in southern districts of KP.

The Minister said homework to raise revenue has been completed and it would increase to provide further relief to common man.

Source: Business Recorder .  Date: 15 June, 2016