PESHAWAR: The provincial government asked and the people are responding. A majority of responders in an on-going government-backed survey have said that they would like more money to be allocated to the education sector in the next fiscal year while grassroots bodies such as village councils should be empowered and funded for delivering these projects.
This was disclosed by officials in the know of the survey carried out by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government to learn the priorities of the public for allocating funds for the fiscal year 2018-19.
The budget survey had been carried out across the province where around three million people were asked to prioritise which departments should be provided with maximum funds.
Officials privy to the development stated that since the budget is supposed to serve the public. “If you are doing something for someone, you must take that ‘someone’ on board,” officials explained matter-of-factly.
They added that the public knew better which areas require the greatest of attention and funds on priority adding as far as recent statistics were concerned [the survey is still underway], a large number of the responders had demanded maximum funds for the education sector.
Earlier, the provincial government in a statement said that around three million citizens of the province had contributed to framing priorities for allocating money in the upcoming budget.
“An extensive survey was undertaken by the K-P finance department through mobile SMS covering 3 million subscribers from all five major mobile operators in all the districts of the province,” the statement read adding that citizens were asked to identify priority sectors for allocating the major chunk of the next budget.
As per the results, 48.94 per cent of the people voted for an increase in the budgetary allocations for the education sector. A further 28.67 per cent suggested an increase in budgetary allocations for health.
Similarly, 12.19 per cent people voted for an increase in funds for building roads, while 10.20 per cent of the public want more money for water supply and sanitation services.
The survey, according to the statement, was also conducted to ascertain which tier of the government was best for speedy and convenient services delivery.
Results for this saw 56.57 per cent of votes polled in favour of village councils, it was followed by 27.23 per cent votes in favour of the district government — suggesting that more people want greater powers devolved to the grass root levels. Around 16.20 per cent favoured the Town Municipal Administration (TMA) for efficient disposal of services.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2018.