KP govt presents Rs1.118 trillion tax-free budget

Govt proposes allocation of Rs371 billion for ADP | Rs747.3 billion proposed for current budget expenditure | Govt employees who did not take special allowance to get 37% increment

04:14 PM | 18 Jun, 2021
KP govt presents Rs1.118 trillion tax-free budget

PESHAWAR – The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government presented a tax-free budget for the next fiscal year with a total outlay of Rs1118 billion on Friday.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra, who presented the budget in the Provincial Assembly in Peshawar, said that Rs919 billion have been allocated for the settled districts and Rs191 billion for the newly-merged districts of the province.

Jhagra said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will receive Rs475.6 billion from the federal taxes and Rs57.2 billion from the federal divisible pool for the war on terror. He said Rs371 billion have been allocated for the Annual Development Programme and this is a “record allocation”.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government announced 10 percent ad hoc relief allowance in salaries of provincial government employees and 10 percent increase in pension in the new budget.

The finance minister announced an increase of 20 percent functional or sectoral allowance for employees up to grade-19 who are not receiving any special allowances besides seven percent increase in the house rent allowance for the employees not availing government residences.

Over Rs142 billion have been earmarked for health facilities in the province and Rs40 billion for four hospitals under the public-private partnership, he said.

Jhagra said a medical insurance plan has also been introduced for provincial government employees in the new budget. He said a total of Rs206 billion have been allocated for the Elementary and Secondary Education Department and Rs27 billion for the Higher Education Department.

Winding up the budget speech, Jhagra said the government has presented a public-friendly and tax-free budget despite the ongoing financial crisis and prevalence of the global pandemic.

The finance minister also presented a supplementary budget for the financial year 2020-21 amounting to Rs78.84 billion.

Earlier, the provincial cabinet at its meeting chaired by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan approved the budget for the next fiscal year.

Speaker Mushtaq Ghani presided over the session.

So far, the federal government, Punjab and Sindh provinces have unveiled their budget proposals with no additional taxes.

Earlier this week, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah presented the budget for the next fiscal year 2021-22 in the Sindh Assembly. The outlay of the deficit budget for the southeast province is estimated at Rs1.477 trillion, with a surge of around 19.1 percent from last year.

Announcing the budget, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that development outlay for the budget is estimated at Rs329 billion. The PPP leader mentioned a 41.3 increase in the development budget from the previous year.

He also announced a 25 percent increase in salaries of the government employees besides increasing the minimum wage from Rs 17,000 to Rs25,000.

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