The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf appears to be making good on its word to prioritise economic growth and public service delivery in its first governing document, announcing an Rs344 billion budget that offered far fewer complaints directed at Islamabad and significantly expanded allocations for education, healthcare, and infrastructure.
Announced by Finance Minister Sirajul Haq in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday, the total budget is about 17.3% larger than the outgoing fiscal year’s budget, with a development budget of about Rs118 billion, nearly 40% larger than fiscal 2013. The single largest chunk of the development budget will be allocated towards education, followed by infrastructure development, including drinking water and sanitation infrastructure.
Education has the largest total share of the provincial budget, with nearly 30% being spent on education, a substantial increase over last year. However, it was quickly learnt that the percentage increase being cited by many television channels on Monday afternoon was largely the result of an account change: the salaries of public school teachers, the single biggest expense on education, was previously being categorised as “general public expenditure” and was re-categorised under the education budget by the PTI-led government, rendering a comparison of this year’s budget with last year’s budget difficult.
The provincial government appears to also have announced an austerity drive, which relies on trying to cut non-salary expenses at the governor’s house and the chief minister’s house, as well as other high-end provincial government properties, by about 50%. It remains unclear, however, how much money this would actually save the government. The PTI-led government also sought to address the extreme reliance of the province on revenue transfers from the federal government. Sirajul Haq announced the creation of the Khyber-Pakthunkhwa Revenue Authority, which would have the responsibility to collect all provincial taxes and levies. It is not immediately clear if this authority would be an independent entity or whether it would amount to simply a renaming of the current provincial revenue department.
Among the revenues that the provincial government is targeting is a general sales tax on the province’s tourism industry. The provincial government has now begun an advertising campaign to lure back tourists and earn more revenues, touting the safety of Swat after the military campaign to rid the region of militants.
Following the lead of the federal government, the K-P government will also be giving its employees a raise, though the 15% raise in the province is higher than the 10% raise announced by Islamabad.
Among the biggest innovations of the PTI-led government was a far higher degree of transparency about the way the province conducts its accounting.
There were, however, some strange blind spots in the budget. In a province wracked by an extremely violent insurgency, the law enforcement budget was increased only by 11.3%, not far above the current year’s inflation number of 8%.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2013.
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lol..ur all arguments are nothing just blame game and FYI SIraj-ul-Haq took oath with CM on 31 ..do check facts before putting them online
and rest point are answered by pti leaders ..do check... Grow up now.
@Aina Waseem, well if it is justified to add up public sector teachers salaries in education budget, then sorry to disappoint you even ANP might have spent nearly equal amounts on "education".
People only see what they want to see. Ironic!
Had it been PPP or PML(N) PTI enthusiasts would be going nuts.
Let us confess the fact that media-hyped PTI is obsessive in making "populist moves" without even assessing their impact. Within 2 days of election results, PM-elect Nawaz Sharif showed magnamity of heart by announcing to allow PTI form govt in KPK (remember that there was no majority party in KPK Assembly and with 35 seats, PTI is the largest minority but not a majority). PTI's Lifetime Chairman Imran Khan nominated his former school-mate Pervez Khattak as Chief Minister, despite the blatant fact the the later is a notorious turncoat having switched political loyalties at least 4 times in the past swinging from PPP to Sherpao to ANP to PTI. Not to mention that he had lost the much-trumpeted intra-party elections. This is indeed not a "clean leadership" but height of cronyism! To add fuel to fire, CM Pervez Khattak nominated his 3 family members against seats reserved for women quota. This is yet another example of cronyism! Although PTI's nominee Pervez Khattak took oath as Chief Minister on May 31, 2013 yet it took another two weeks for wheeling-dealing to allocate portfolios: http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/14-Jun-2013/kpk-12-member-cabinet-sworn-in on June 13, 2013. Surprisingly, the budget is announced within 4 days of allocation of Finance Minister!
It is very clear that the bureaucrat Babus in Finance Ministry of KPK have prepared the budget and PTI & JI could only do window dressing to earn accolades from their trolls on social media. But economists call it fudging of figures!!
PTI, as an Overseas Pakistani I want to help fund your efforts in KP , be it through Zakat, or investing in an electrical corporation set up by the KP government, and I am sure other Overseas Pakistanis will join.
Hats off to the team Well done for presenting a balanced budget.
@waseem sarwar: Just look at the salient features of their budget (available at KPK government's web portal). There is a table given in it comparing current budget with previous one and you'll see for yourself that how many fudges have been made this accounting of this budget.
It is hoped that PTI will be able to deliver what it is preaching....numbers looks great but translating these in physical terms is what matters....may Allah swt give them success....
This budjet is made by JI's Sirajul Haq. Give them some credit dudes.
GST from tourism is Swat? Good luck with that. Especially after Malala.
@Muslim Leaguer: Even tough, after reading your name, no one will take you serious but even if KP government played with numbers, Rs 6 b (last year's education budget) isn't even close to Rs118 b after paying salaries. :)
@Muslim Leaguer: K
Better work done by KP Govt on budgeting than Federal and other provinces.
I am so glad PTI led KPK Govt has stepped up in right direction, Results will be good inshallah if we get Education health and police reforms in right direction.
Awesome , sounds like a deal.
This is absolutely amazing work by PTI really well done !!
this is what one was expecting from PTI KPK GOVT. Bravo keep it up.
What an irony of fact that the PTI + JI + QWP government plays with accounting gimmicks to show higher budgetary allocation for Education!! It is a matter of shame for the proponents of education. The coalition partners wasted over a month in naming the portfolios for their cronies and therefore had only 2 days in finalising the budget. Resultantly,they came up with "window dressing" to hide their weaknesses.
very healthy competition between the provinces. PTI its time to deliver