Opposition says KP budget based on imagination, speculation

KP government had presented the annual budget for 2024-25 last Friday in the provincial assembly with a total volume of Rs 1,754 billion and said it was surplus

By Khalid Kheshgi
May 28, 2024
A general view of budget session of fiscal year 2024-25 at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly in Peshawar on May 24, 2024. — PPI

PESHAWAR: Opposition benches in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday slammed the provincial government for presenting the annual budget for the next financial year ahead of the federal one and termed the figures based on assumptions, imaginations and speculations.


The KP government had presented the annual budget for 2024-25 last Friday in the provincial assembly with a total volume of Rs 1,754 billion and said it was surplus. Participating in the general debate over the annual budget, the first budget of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) /Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in the province, the opposition parties termed the budgetary figures, particularly the revenue receipts and estimates related to the federal government as mere imaginations and unrealistic approach on the part of the provincial government.

Opposition leader and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPA Dr Ibadullah, while quoting the revenue estimates shown in the budget documents, said when the federal government had not presented its budget for the upcoming fiscal year, how would a province get or reflect the actual figures in its annual budget.

“I don’t understand what prompted the provincial government to present its annual budget before the Federal government when about 85 percent of its revenue is dependent on the national resources and allocation in different sectors?” he questioned and said that one could call it a political stunt and point scoring on the part of the elected government.

The lawmaker said the opposition parties would fully support the SIC/PTI government in its efforts to get its due share and arrears from the federal government but presenting unrealistic figures and estimates in the annual budget would rather weaken the KP stance on its share in federal divisible pool and net hydel profit.

“In the annual budget for 2024-25, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has estimated a revenue of Rs 1212 billion from the federal government while all the figures are based on mere imaginations and speculations,” he said and added that the province had shown Rs 111 billion in account of net hydel profit.

The opposition leader also criticized the budget allocation and priorities reflected in the annual budget for 2024-25 as he said that the present government had allocated small amount to Agriculture, tourism and mineral sectors in the current expenditures while higher education particularly public universities in the province had been neglected in the annual development programme.

Similarly, Dr Ibaad said the provincial government had not allocated the fund for the local government system in the province where the tehsil council nazim, village council and neighborhood council members were elected some two years back but were yet to get powers and funds.

Parliamentary party leader of Jamiat Ulema Islam-F Maulana Lutfur Rehman said that the provincial government had taken a wrong step by presenting the annual budget ahead of the federal government, asking the treasury and opposition benches in the KP Assembly to reject the present budget collectively and present a fresh budget document after the federal government.

“How will we get grants, loans and our due shares in national resources when the federal government has not revealed its own revenue estimates?” he asked and added that the provincial government had not even got its revenue targets in the current financial year.

The MPA said the KP government had planned to pass the annual budget before the budget presentation in the National Assembly, which, he said, would push the province into economic instability and financial crisis.

He said that due to poor economic policy and non-developmental expenditures on the part of the previous PTI government, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was burdened with heavy loans and debts. Ihsanullah Miankhel, the Pakistan People Party MPA from Dera Ismail Khan district, appreciated the reflection of the Chashma Right Bank Canal (CRBC) and Tank Zam Dam in the budget documents.

He said it would not only irrigate the hundreds acres of barren land but also would provide cleaning drinking water to the local people. However, he said the provincial government had allocated a small amount for these mega projects in the annual budget, adding that instead of allocating Rs 3 billion for BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) in Peshawar, the provincial government should allocate this amount to the backward and underprivileged districts of the province.

Earlier, Finance Minister Aftab Alam tabled the finance bill in the provincial assembly where amendments are proposed for the collection, reduction of existing taxes and extending taxes to other sectors including fixed taxes on wedding hall and tobacco cess taxes on tobacco products in the province.