KP budget pro poor, maximum relief provided to people, govt employees: Finance Minister

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PESHAWAR June 8 (APP): Provincial Minister for Finance, Muzaffar Said advocate said on thursday that the government has presented a balanced and pro-poor budget 2017-18 in which maximum relief was provided to all segments of the society including government employees and pensioners.

Addressing a post budget press conference here, the Minister said government has distributed budget mainly in three major sectors ie development, welfare and administrative to ensure strict financial discipline besides expediting pace of economic development in the province.
The Minister said the government has proposed allocation of Rs336.67 billion for welfare budget that was 56 percent of the total budget outlay of Rs603 billion which was 14pc higher then current fiscal year.
Likewise, he said Rs 58.73billion was proposed for administrative budget 2017-18 an increase of 18 percent against current fiscal year.
The Minister said special focus was made on development budget with allocation of Rs208 billion having a share of 34 pc of the total budget 2017-18 with major focus on uplift of socio-economic sectors, completion of ongoing projects and starting of new schemes.
He said ADP of upcoming budget was 29 pc more than current fiscal year including foreign assistance of Rs82 billion.
As many as Rs127.91billion were allocated for education, Rs49.27billion for health and Rs39.73b for police departments in budget 2017-18, he said, adding the government has set aside Rs127.91 billion including Rs115.92 billion for elementary and secondary education, Rs11.99billion for high education sector that was 18 percent more than of the current financial year.
As many as Rs49.27billion were earmarked for health sector with 31pc increase against current fiscal year besides an allocation of Rs1.85billion carrying an increase of seven percent against current fiscal year for women development and social welfare sectors.
The Minister said Rs2.25 billion for Technical Education and Human Resource Development, Rs720million for sports, culture and tourism, Rs4.35billion for agriculture, Rs2.37billion for environment and forests department, Rs6.61 for communication and works sectors, Rs53b for pension and Rs2.90 billion for subsidy in wheat were earmarked in the upcoming budget.
The government also earmarked Rs8billion for payment of mark up on loans besides Rs7 billion for return of external and internal loans, house building for the government employees and motorcycle advances.
The provincial financial Minister said Rs126 billion were allocated for Provincial Development Programme to complete 1632 projects including 1182 ongoing and 450 news schemes in budget 2017-18.
Inspite of limited financial resources, he said the Government has provided maximum financial relief to government employees and pensioners by increasing their salaries and pension by 10 percent after merger of Adhoc Relief Allowance of 2010.
“The government has decided to merge adhoc relief allowance 2010 in basic salaries and after its merger 10 percent adhoc relief allowance 2017 would be given to government employees,” he said.
The Minister said the Government would bear Rs16.50billion load due to increase of pension and salaries of the government employees.
The employees of BPS-5 is being exempted from reduction in 5pc house rent allowance and proposed to increase rate of daily allowance by 60percent while Ardali (Orderly Peon/messenger) allowance from Rs12000 to Rs14000.
The existing ratio of transfer and burial of deceased is being enhanced from Rs1600 to Rs4,800 and from Rs5000 to Rs15000 respectively, he said adding minimum wages is being increased from Rs14000 to Rs15000.
The Minister said PTI led government has transferred Rs48billion to district government in last two years and a huge amount of Rs28 billion were allocated for district governments in budget 2017-18.
He said revenue resources of KP was limited and the government was making efforts to enhance it.

The Finance Minister KP claimed that the world
donor agencies like the World Bank and UNDP have appreciated efforts
of KP Government for promotion of trade and investment activities
in the province as well as bringing economic stability and reforms
in the social sectors making it more result oriented.
He maintained, “We have taken various measures to tap
the potential natural resources like hydel power, exploration of
oil and gas, forests, to make the province self reliant in the
God gifted resources of the province.”
Muzafar said human resource development remained the top priority
of the government, making in time legislation and reforms to
remove lacunas from the existing laws, introduced system of
reward and punishment to eliminate corruption from
government organizations and encouraging good work.
The minister said the KP government
introduced exemplary reforms in education, health, rural
development and policing for peoples benefits.
The present KP Government, he said, have successfully
changed the slogan ‘Badlay Ga Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP to be
changed),’ to Badal Gya Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP has Changed)
during the last four years.
The Minister said 80pc of the budget has been allocated
for health, education, law and order sectors of the
total outlay.
Mega Greater Circular Railway Project and Rapid Transit
Bus projects would be completed next year for which arrangements
have been finalized with donor agencies.

He said 81pc of the development program has been proposed
for ongoing schemes and 19 for the newly launched projects
2017-18 budget.

He maintained that the province’s own receipts were meager, and
making slight upward readjustment in it was unavoidable.
The government was well aware of the peoples problems and did not
want to put more burden on them in the shape of new taxes.
The government has proposed slight increase in the UIP
(Urban Immovable Property) tax on five marla houses, which are
occupied by the tenants. The self occupied house of five marla will
remain exempted from the UIP tax.
The minister said a new service has been incorporated in the
sales tax schedule named ‘Ride Hailing Service.’ Similarly
upward revision has been proposed in stage carriage route permit,
good forwarding agency, bodybuilding licence fees and fitness fee.
An adjustment in restaurants, hotel registration and licence fees
of the tourism department has also been proposed in the budget 2017-18.
To a question, the minister denied the notion of deficit
budget, saying that the revenue receipts and expenditures have
pitched at Rs603 billion. He expressed confidence that the province would receive the revenue receipts as projected in the budget documents.