KP set to present optimistic budget

KP set to present optimistic budget
KP set to present optimistic budget

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led provincial government will present its maiden budgetary plan for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday with over Rs300 billion revenue and expenditure estimates for the financial year 2013-14.

According to documents available with Media, an overinflated Rs106.74 billion Annual Development Programme (ADP) would make an integral part of the four party provincial government’s budget, representing a mix of political aspirations of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Jamaat-i-Islami.Apart from continuing some of the social security schemes launched by its immediate predecessor, the new provincial is said to have included a social security scheme of Rs700 million. The MA qualified students from across the province would get monthly stipend of Rs2,000 per month per student for a period of one year.

The scheme would also cover the students of religious seminaries as, according to sources, JI expects this scheme would help in engaging the jobless youth.Continuing with the past, social sectors, including health, education, water supply and sanitation would form focus of the development outlay. The government has effected marginal increases in sectoral allocations under the next fiscal’s ADP in comparison with the outgoing financial year’s plan. Similarly, ongoing development schemes would be allocated 70 per cent of the development funds and 30 per cent would be specified for the new projects.

In respect of non-developmental expenditure, more than 60 per cent of the province’s income would be allocated to fulfil the provincial government’s obligations towards its serving and ex-employees on account of their monthly salaries and pension payments.The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa minister for finance Siraj-ul-Haq, who is also a senior minister in the provincial cabinet on Jamaat-i-Islami’s quota, will table the coalition government’s revenue/expenditure estimates for the next financial year.The new provincial assembly’s maiden budget session is scheduled to begin at 2pm on Monday.

According to the federal government’s budget books for the financial year 2013-14, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will arrange Rs93.53 billion from its kitty for the new financial year’s Rs106.742 billion ADP. The remaining amount of Rs13.2 billion would come as federal assistance, involving total foreign loans of Rs3.8 billion and Rs9.4 billion in development grants.The ADP appears to be an over ambitious plan of the new government when compared with the province’s outgoing financial year’s development program, which is set to end up far short of the annual targets.The last provincial government had presented an over Rs97 billion ADP for the 2012-13 financial year, an all time high development outlay.

However, according to the federal government’s budget documents, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s ADP for the outgoing financial year would end up with total expenditure of Rs77.2 billion, recording a shortfall of Rs20 billion.The current expenditure side of the province’s new fiscal plan also runs risk of experiencing budgetary imbalance if one goes by the outgoing financial year’s experience. According to the federal government’s budget, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is set to record a whopping Rs33.73 billion revenue shortfall under three heads.

Revenue shortfall recorded by the federal board of revenue has translated into a net loss of Rs25.9 billion to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against its annual share from the federal divisible taxes; another loss of Rs2.2 billion has been recorded on account of reduced ‘straight transfers’ and another shortfall of Rs5.6 billion has been recorded on account of general sales tax on services.According to the federal government’s estimates for the next financial year, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will receive over Rs251 billion, including Rs222 billion from the divisible taxes, Rs27.49 billion from the straight transfers, and remaining Rs1.9 billion as GST on services.

In an important move, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will take over the responsibility to collect GST on services from the start of the new financial year, taking an inspiration from Sindh and Punjab in an effort to improve collections under the said head.The province would reflect an income of Rs6 billion for the next financial year on account of net hydel profit, in line with its constitutional right, though it has not received a single rupee under this head during the outgoing financial year.

Besides, the provincial government would also reflect an income of Rs25 billion as NHP arrears payable by the federal government in fulfillment of an agreement signed by its predecessor. Official sources said the federal government was bound to pay this amount to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in accordance with the agreement.On the expenditure side, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would reflect a net expenditure of Rs4.79 billion of which a sum of Rs4.16 billion would be paid against its foreign loans and Rs624 million would be paid against the province’s cash loans taken in the past for carrying out development activities. – Dawn