Pakistan’s KPK province announces surplus budget

Pakistan KPK announces surplus budget

The UAE News Report: In a surprise move, The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Finance Aftab Alam on Friday presented Rs1,754 billion annual budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 with a surplus of Rs100 billion. It’s a normal practice to announce the provincial budget after the federal budget, which is scheduled next month.

The government has projected Rs1,654 billion expenses, said the minister during budget speech in the assembly here, adding that as per the instructions of the Chief Minister Ali Ameen Gandapur the budget 2024-25 mainly focused on social protection, peace, employment opportunities, and economic development.

The government has proposed 10 percent increase in both salaries and pension of the government employees and increase minimum wage from Rs32,000 to 36,000.

While giving details of the budget 2024-25, he said that the KP government anticipated receiving a total Rs1,754 billion under different heads during the fiscal year 2024-25 including 1212.036 billion from the federal government under Federal Tax Assignment, one percent of divisible pool on war on terror, Straight Transfer under the head of royalties and surcharge on oil and gas, windfall levy and net hydel profit.

He said that the KP province considerably improve its income during the last few years and had chalked out a mobilization plan and fixed a target of achieving Rs 93.5 billion revenue for the fiscal year 2024-25.

He said the KP government has decided to improve tax net instead of increasing the taxes and for the purpose several steps have taken including reforms in sales tax, property tax, tobacco tax, cess and other taxes.

The government has decreased the sales tax ratio on different online services in the budget, adding that the tax has reduced on hotels from eight percent to six percent and bound the hotels to use Restaurant Invoice Management System. Similarly, fixed sales tax rate has been proposed for wedding halls.

Aftab said the government has also given relief in property tax and reduced the tax amount on per kanal for factories form Rs 13600 to 10,000.

The tax on commercial property which was 16 percent of the monthly rent previously has been reduced to 10 percent and five percent for private hospital, medical stores and other businesses related to health sector.

Additionally, the government proposed to increase tobacco development cess to increase income on the production of tobacco, he said and informed the house that the government has reduced provincial tax from 6.5 percent to 3.5 percent on transfer of properties.

The government has earmarked Rs 362.7 billion for education sector including Rs 35.8billion for higher education and Rs 326.9billion for elementary and secondary education with an increase of 13 percent.

Similarly, Rs 228.8 billion has been allocated for health sector with an increase of 14 percent. Rs 140.6 billion for peace and order in the province with an increase of 15 percent, Rs 60.5 billion for roads and infrastructure with an increase of 03 percent, Rs 8.1 billion for social welfare with an increase of 06 percent, Rs two billion for mineral with an increase of two percent, Rs 7.5 billion for industry and commerce with an increase of 17 percent, Rs 9.6 billion for tourism with an increase of 25 percent, Rs 28.6 billion for agriculture with an increase of 54 percent and Rs 30.8 billion for energy sector with an increase of 67 percent.

The current expenditure for the settled districts for the fiscal year 2024-25 was estimated Rs 1093.087 billion including provincial salaries, Health MTIs’ salary budget, Tehsil Salary, pension and non-salary expenditures of health MTIs, Tehsil, capital expenditure and ways and means.

Similarly, the current expenditure for the merged districts was estimated Rs 144.628 billion including provincial salary, Tehsil salary, pension, non-salary, temporarily displaced persons and non salary expenditure of Tehsils.

The government has allocated Rs 416.284 billion for development expenditures for settled and merged districts including Rs 120 billion for Provincial Annual Development Program, Rs 24 billion for district annual development program, Rs 36 billion for merged districts annual development program, Rs 79.286 billion for Accelerated Implementation program (AIP), Rs 130.587billion for foreign project assistance and Rs 26.411 billion for federal PSDP.

The minister said that the budget 2024-25 was not just a budget document rather it was also a road map for development and prosperity of the province and also reflection of the government’s strong resolve to uphold social justice, gender equality. At the end he thanked the finance department, planning and development in drafting the budget document within very short span of time.