KP PA passes budget proposals, Finance Bill, 2017

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PESHAWAR, June 14 (APP): Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Wednesday
passed provincial budget for financial year 2017-18 after adopting
all budget proposals one-by-one as well as the Finance Bill 2017.
There were a total of 59 demands for grants and the house passed
58 of them unanimously except only one demand of grant for the Revenue and Estate which attracted long debate and later the matter was put to vote, but rejected by majority.
Though legislators from opposition and few one from treasury benches
have also submitted cut motions, but withdrew them later to pave way for their unanimous approval from the house.
The largest number of cut motions was submitted against demand for
grant for Health Department, which were 31. The demand for grant for
Health Department worth Rs.35.496 billion followed by 28 cut motions
against demand for grant of Public Health Engineering (PHE). However,
the legislators after some assurances from ministers withdrew their
motions.
The house debated only seven demands for grants as the house had
adopted four demands for grants on Tuesday while two more were discussed on Wednesday where the remaining 51 were bulldozed.
Meanwhile, responding to the speeches of opposition legislators,
the Chief Minister Pervez Khattak agreed with the demand of the
acquisition of land for development schemes on market rates to remove hurdles in the implementation of the schemes in the province.
The members of the provincial assembly belonging to different
opposition parties were complaining of difficulties in land acquisition
for development schemes and even projects initiated under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) while speaking in favour of their cut motions on the demand for grant of Rs.1.145 billion for Excise and Taxation Department.
The Chief Minister acknowledged hardships in land acquisition as
crucial and serious issue. He said that a lot of schemes for the construction of schools and colleges are delayed due to price assessment for land.
He supported the contentions for the legislators for payment
of market rate for the land. However, he said Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of the respective districts are not ready for it.
He requested the Speaker for the formation of a house committee to
regulate the procedure and prevent future problems for government
officials. The step, he said will not only encourage people to pay taxes rather will also increase the revenue of the provincial government.
The Leader of Opposition, Maulana Lutf-ur-Rehman proposed the
adoption of the mean of negotiations for the land acquisition. However,
the Speaker said that before the formation of special committee, they
would be required to go through the already existing panel on the issue.
Later, the Speaker, Asad Qaiser adjourned the proceedings of the
house till tomorrow (Thursday) 2:00 P.M.