The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday presented a balance budget of Rs 487.884 billion for financial year 2015-16, which is 21 percent higher than the outgoing fiscal year’s with no new tax but an ambitious annual development programme (ADP) of Rs 174.884 billion. The annual budget presented by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Finance, Muzaffar Said, Advocate, in provincial assembly began here with Speaker Asad Qaisar Khan in the chair.
However, after recitation from the Holy Quran, the legislators of joint opposition comprising PPP, PML-N, JUI-F and ANP started chanting slogans against the PTI for their alleged involvement in vote rigging in the local bodies’ elections in the province. The finance minister was jubilant to state that no new tax has been levied in the budget; however some readjustment have been effected in provincial taxes. He estimated provincial revenue receipts for next financial year at Rs 487.884 billion against the total expenditures pitched at Rs 487.884 billion, showing balance in receipts and the expenditures.
Giving details of the revenue receipts the province would be receiving to meet it expenditures, he said the government will be getting Rs 250.89 billion from the federal divisible pool, showing a ten percent rise over the current fiscal. The province expected to receive Rs 30.146bn as expenditures against war on terror and unrest in the province. Royalty on oil and gas generated in the province would add up Rs 19.41 billion to the provincial kitty which is 33 percent less than the outgoing fiscal’s. Similarly, Rs.44 billion would be obtained through General Sales Tax on services which are 17 percent higher than 2014-15. The province will receive around Rs.37.124 billion from other sources, which are 166 percent higher than the current fiscal year’s.
The province, the Finance Minister said, would generate Rs 3.30 billion from its own hydel power stations, showing a 16 percent increase over the current fiscal year’s. The province’s own total revenue income comes to Rs.54.424 billion, showing an 89 percent increase. In all, Rs 15 billion would be secured through financing of hydel power stations.
He said the government has proposed Rs 14 billion from saving of the previous fiscal years for additional expenditures. The province expected to get Rs.17 billion as net hydel profit in 2015-16 whereas the federal government has assured to pay Rs 51.873 billion as net hydel profit arrears in the next fiscal. The government he said expected to generate Rs 8 billion from the auction for timber whereas Rs 2.25 billion are likely to be obtained from other miscellaneous sectors. Under the foreign project assistance, the KP is likely to secure Rs.32.884 billion in the next year. The development expenditures 2015-16, the Finance Minister Muzaffar
Said Advocate said, has been pitched at Rs 174.884 billion, including a Rs 111.726 billion provincial ADP, Rs 30.274 billion for Districts ADP and Rs 32.884 billion foreign project assistance. The Finance minister said that Rs.298 billion has been allocated for the current revenue expenditures, showing a 19 percent rise over the outgoing fiscal year’s. Giving a break-up of the current revenue expenditures, he said Rs 177.350 billion will be consumed by general public service, Rs 41.374 billion will go to public order and safety affairs, Rs 18.094 billion for economic affairs, Rs.8.528 billion for housing and community amenities, Rs 16.701 billion for health sector, Rs 28.549 billion for education and Rs 6.557 billion for social protection.
The education budget, he said, has been increased by 21 percent as this sector would get Rs 97.54 billion in 2015-16 followed by health Rs.29.95 billion, social welfare sector Rs 1.37 billion; Police Rs.32.74 billion, Irrigation Rs 3.60 billion, technical education and manpower Rs.1.75 billion, Agriculture Rs 3.51 billion, Forest and Environment Rs 1.83 billion, Communication and works Rs 2.76 billion, Pension Rs 36.99 billion, subsidy on wheat Rs.2.90 billion and debt servicing Rs.7.210 billion.
In order to ensure financial management and discipline, the finance minister said the budget has been divided into welfare developmental and administrative sections. The welfare sector would get Rs 259.169 billion which is 53 percent of the total budgetary allocations and showed an 18 percent increase over the outgoing fiscal. The administrative budget has been pitched at Rs 53.83 billion showing 19 percent reduction over the current fiscal and makes 11 percent of the total budget. The development budget has been pitched at Rs 174.884 billion, showing a 25 percent rise over the outgoing financial year and made 36 percent of the total budgetary allocations. Referring to readjustment in provincial taxes, the Finance Minister said, though no new tax has been imposed in 2015-16 but slight adjustment has been made in rates of certain taxes for revenue generation of the province. The readjustment has been proposed in category A to C and no rise has been proposed in category- D of commercial property tax.
Similarly, a fair rise, what the finance minister believed, has been proposed in taxes of CNG stations, petrol pumps and service stations which fall in schedule-11 of the commercial property. The annual token tax of vehicles has not been increased since 2000. The present rate is far less than other provinces’; therefore a slight increase in the vehicles tax has been proposed in taxes for commercial and high powered cars. Similarly, it has also been proposed to levy one time Rs 10,000 tax on 1000 CC vehicles. The rates of permit and licence of spirit will also be increased.
The recovery of sales tax under the 18th Amendment has been given to the provinces, he said adding, the KP government has set-up KP Revenue Authority last year which has been assigned the task of recovery of sales tax. Sales tax net would be expanded in the next fiscal, he told the house. Slight upward changes have been proposed in parking and other fee being obtained through Transport Department.
The finance minister also unfolded an ambitious Annual Development Plan (ADP) for the upcoming fiscal 2015-16 with a total outlay of Rs.174.88 billion, reflecting an increase of 26% over the last year’s development programme. The ADP comprises 1525 schemes – 911 ongoing and 640 new. These have been formulated on the basis of priorities of the line departments and agencies solicited under the Integrated Development Strategy, says Finance Minister. In the ADP 2015-16, maximum fund is reserved for ongoing schemes so that with completion of these schemes people could benefit and the Throw Forward Liability is reduced.
The ADP 2015-16 has been formulated after an intensive consultative process. The process included a series of sessions with all the line departments/agencies, Finance Department, Advisor to CM for Planning & Development Department and the Chief Minister, in order to seek their guidance, he added.
In the budget speech, Finance Minister said it is a matter of satisfaction that all friendly countries have expressed full confidence in policies of KP government and also appreciated the fiscal planning of provincial government including developmental strategy, strategic development partnership framework and economic growth strategy. Apart from bilateral co-operation between KP and donor countries, an additional amount of Rs 15 billion will be provided in the upcoming fiscal year under Multi Donor Funds, the Finance Minister announced.
He said in the current fiscal year, seven schemes funded by foreign donors have been completed in the province and people are reaping benefits of these schemes. Similarly, in the upcoming fiscal year, three important schemes titled as ‘Supremacy of Justice’, ‘District Govts and Economic Development’ and ‘One UN Programme’ are going to be started at a cost of Rs.14 billion. The Finance Minister apprised the assembly that in next fiscal year, KP is expecting to receive Rs 32.88 billion as foreign aid out of which Rs 27.66 will be grant and Rs 5.22 billion loan on easy terms.
Source: Business Recorder