Wednesday June 19, 2024

KP presents Rs1.654tr budget with Rs100bn surplus

Total expenditures for the next financial year were reflected as Rs1654 billion in the fiscal document

By Khalid Kheshgi
May 25, 2024
A view of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly during a session on February 28, 2024. — INP
A view of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly during a session on February 28, 2024. — INP

PESHAWAR: The government of Sunni Ittehad Council/Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday presented a Rs1654 billion surplus budget for the financial year 2024-25.

The total expenditures for the next financial year were reflected as Rs1654 billion in the fiscal document.

The government presented the annual budget ahead of the federal government wherein over 80 percent revenue is expected from the federal resources.

In the Rs1754 billion revenue target for the next fiscal year, the KP estimated to get Rs1212 billion from the federal government while the provincial government set a target of Rs93.50 billion from its own resources.

The provincial government announced 10 percent increase in salary and pension, respectively.

The minimum wage was increased from Rs32,000 to Rs36,000 per month.

In his budget speech, Finance Minister Aftab Alam said no new tax was introduced in the annual budget; however, the tax net would be extended to different sectors to enhance the revenue of the province.

“The province will introduce tobacco cess that would be collected from tobacco companies instead of tobacco growers as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa produced the best quality of tobacco,” he said and added the KP Assembly would pass a bill about the collection of tobacco cess tax.

He said the provincial government had introduced a fixed sales tax on wedding halls while the sales tax rate for hotels was reduced by 6 percent and the Restaurant Invoice Management System was declared compulsory for restaurants in the province.

The property tax, fees for the transfer of properties and commercial property taxes were reduced for the next financial year.

In the annual budget for 2024-25, the KP government allocated Rs416.30 billion for Annual Development Programme (ADP) including Rs120 billion under Provincial Development Programme, Rs24 billion for District Annual Programme, Rs36 billion for the merged district ADP; Rs79.29 billion under Accelerated Implementation Programme for merged districts, Rs130.59billion under foreign project assistance and Rs26.41 for federal government projects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

Aftab Alam said the health insurance (Insaf Sehat Card) was a revolutionary step by the previous PTI-led governments in the province and the present government had not only restored it but also allocated a huge amount of Rs34 billion, including Rs6 billion, for merged districts.

He said that Rs12 billion were allocated for Ihsas Rozgar Programme (self-employment scheme); Ihsas Naujawan programme (for youths) and Ihsas Hunar Programme which would provide jobs and business opportunities to educated and skilled youth.

Under the Ihsas Apna Ghar Programme, the provincial government will build about 5000 houses for which Rs3 billion has been allocated in the annual budget.

The KP annual budget for 2024-25 reflected no mega projects in the province but Rs10 billion was allocated for Chashma Right Bank Canal (Lift-cum-gravity) CRBC projects which would irrigate about 300,000 acres of barren lands in Dera Ismail Khan and other southern districts of the province.

Similarly, Tank Zam Dam, Chodwan Zam Dam and Draban Zam Dam projects were also reflected in the annual budget which would meet the requirements of drinking and irrigation water in Tank and Dera Ismail Khan.

The budget documents for 2024-25 showed that Rs362.68 billion had been allocated for education which was about 13 percent higher than the current financial year. Likewise, Rs232.08 billion was apportioned for Health, including Rs34 billion for Sehat Card and the starting of an Air Ambulance Service in the province.

For law and order (police), an amount of Rs140 billion was allocated in the annual budget while Rs26.90 billion for the purchase and procurement of wheat; Rs8.11 billion for social welfare; Rs6.50 billion for repair and construction of roads, Rs9.6 billion for tourism, Rs7.57 billion for trade and industries and Rs3 billion for Bus Rapid Transit in Peshawar city.

The budgetary figures indicated that the KP had not received its due share in net hydel power for merged districts under the NFC Award, oil and gas royalty and windfall levy on account of the war on terror.

The annual share of former tribal areas now called merged districts of KP was about Rs262 billion per annum under the NFC Award. however, the province got Rs123 billion due to which the province was faced with a Rs139 billion deficit annually.

In its revenue receipts from the federal government, the KP government reflected Rs1212.04 billion for the next financial year.

These included Rs902.51 billion as federal tax assignment; Rs108.44 billion as one percent of divisible pool on account of war on terror, Rs 42.96 billion straight transfer in oil and gas royalty and surcharge, Rs46.83 billion as windfall levy on oil, Rs33.10 billion as net hydel profit for the current year and Rs78.21 billion as net hydel profit in arrears.

The provincial revenue estimates were shown as Rs93.50 billion, including Rs63.19 billion, as tax receipts and Rs30.31 billion as non-tax receipts in the annual budget for 2024-25.

Meanwhile, KP Chief Minister Sardar Ali Amin Khan Gandapur on Friday said the provincial government presented a truly welfare and pro-poor budget despite difficult financial situation.

With a surplus of Rs100 billion, he said, the budget was in line with the party vision prioritizing education, health, social protection, economic development and wellbeing of the general public.

He maintained that the provincial government was introducing reforms that would not only help in steering the province out of current financial crunches, but would also benefit the upcoming generations.