Jhagra terms recent budget biggest in KP history

Wadood Jan

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Finance Taimur Saleem Jhagra and Minister for Information in a joint post budget press conference said on Wednesday that the budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 was the biggest budget up till now in the history of KP adding that no new tax has been imposed in the province.

Speaking at a press conference, held here at Provincial Cabinet Room, Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra said that savings of Rs95 billion was the beginning of ‘Change’ which Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf wanted to bring.

“We decreased our salaries and government cost,” he stated adding that we increased the salaries of lower grades in a manner that it did not add any extra burden of a single penny on the provincial exchequer.

Finance Minster said that the government made bold decisions in the budget framing.

“Budget was not a brush to paint all departments and sectors in one colour but making of choices was inevitable,” the minister stated.

“After a six months hard work we moved the Annual Developmental Program (ADP) funds from Rs140 billion to Rs319 billion,” he said adding that it was the farsightedness of the KP government.

He maintained that no new tax has been imposed rather the government decreased services taxes.

“No country could progress sans imposing taxes so it would have been in the advantage of the province and country if they had imposed new taxes or increased,” he stated.

Taimur Saleem remarked that there are still some flaws which are needed to be addressed and the government has been struggling to fix them.

Talking about the opposition, he said that he did not know that why did the opposition reacted and tore the booklets of budget.

“We have begun the journey of raising revenue and moving towards self-dependency,” the minister said.

He said that the total budget outlay is Rs900 billion while total estimated expenditure is Rs855 billion which stands that budget is Rs45 billion surplus.

“The current budget is 39 percent more than budget of previous fiscal year,” he stated and added that out of Rs855 billion Rs693 billion would be spent in settled and Rs162 billion in merged districts.

He maintained that total estimation of Rs855 billion has been divided into current expenditures and ADP.

“In terms of current expenditures Rs536 billion and Rs319 billion in terms of ADP have been fixed,” he said. Minister for Finance asserted that in the total ADP amount Rs 236 billion has been allocated to settled and Rs83 billion has been earmarked for tribal districts.

“The scope of Health Card facility would be expanded to the whole province as health was the right of every citizen,” the minister remarked and added that record funds would be spent on education, health, infrastructure, agriculture and youth.

Taimur Saleem Jhagra continued and said that the government has not only increased ADP budget but also a record decrease has been made in Throw Forward.

Giving details of the total budget Rs900 billion layout, he said that Rs533 billion would be received from the Federal Government wherein Rs453 billion to be received in terms of Federal Taxes, Rs25.6 billion as royalties of oil and gas, Rs55.7 billion as Net Hydel Profit (NHP) which includes Rs34.5 billion arrears, Rs53.4 billion would be obtained from provincial taxes and non-taxes, Rs82 billion to be acquired from foreign aids in the shape of projects and Rs24.7 billion would be received from other resources.

Minister for Finance Taimur Saleem asked the Federal Government to pay the KP province the arrears worth Rs34.5 billion of NHP hence share in NHP should be given through AGN Qazi Formula and the amount of NHP to be paid every month.

Speaking at the press conference Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai said that backward districts and areas have been focused during drafting current budget.

“Excellent schemes are the part of the budget which would change the shape of province into a developed province,” he said.

Information Minister said that opposition should have participated in the budget session as it was a historic moment when the biggest budget was being announced for the new KP.

“I believe the opposition would have come to know about this budget through media which would bring schemes and prosperity to the masses of this province,” he said.