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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Presents Surplus Budget of 1754 Billion Rupees

For the merged districts, 259.91 billion rupees have been proposed, with 72.6 billion rupees expected from the federal government and an additional budget grant of 55 billion rupees.
by Hassam_Ud_Din - 24 May, 2024 692
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The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has presented its annual budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 in the provincial assembly. The total budget amounts to 1754 billion rupees, with projected expenditures of 1654 billion rupees, resulting in a 100 billion rupee surplus. The provincial government expects to receive over 1,212 billion rupees from the federal government.

The budget session, chaired by Speaker Babar Saleem Swati, began after a customary delay. Law Minister Aftab Alam presented the budget, which anticipates receiving 902.5 billion rupees from federal distribution and 108.44 billion rupees for the war against terrorism. Additionally, 33.09 billion rupees will come from hydropower net profits and 78.21 billion rupees from hydropower arrears.

The provincial government aims to collect 93.5 billion rupees from its own resources, setting a taxation target of 63.18 billion rupees for the fiscal year 2024-25. For the merged districts, 259.91 billion rupees have been proposed, with 72.6 billion rupees expected from the federal government and an additional budget grant of 55 billion rupees. A development fund of 76 billion rupees for the merged districts is also expected from the federal government, along with 17 billion rupees for homeless individuals.

Also Read: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Unveils Record Budget Ahead of Federal Announcement

The provincial government will allocate over 1237 billion rupees for salaries, pensions, and grants next year. This includes 246 billion rupees for provincial employees' salaries, 263 billion rupees for tehsil employees' salaries, and over 162.4 billion rupees for pensions. Ongoing expenses will consume 264.7 billion rupees, with 26.97 billion rupees for MTI hospital staff salaries and 28.68 billion rupees for MTI hospital expenses. In the merged districts, 144.62 billion rupees will be spent on salaries, pensions, and ongoing expenses.

The budget allocates 34 billion rupees for the health facility card, with 28 billion rupees for scheduled districts and 9 billion rupees for tribal districts. It proposes 10.97 billion rupees for medicine purchases and 26.7 billion rupees for wheat subsidies. Additionally, 9 billion rupees have been allocated for providing free books to students, 3 billion rupees for BRT subsidies, 2.5 billion rupees for relief measures, and 900 million rupees for shelters.

The budget document outlines 12 billion rupees for Ehsaa's employment, youth, and skills programs, aiming to employ 100,000 youths. Three billion rupees are allocated for the Ehsaas Apna program to build 5,000 houses. Ten billion rupees are designated for the CRBC project to irrigate 300,000 acres of land. The budget plans to start four major projects with private sector support: Deer Motorway, DI Khan Motorway, Bannu Link Road, and Hukla York Motorway.

The budget also includes 362.68 billion rupees for education, with 326.86 billion rupees for primary and secondary education and 35.82 billion rupees for higher education. The health sector will receive 232 billion rupees, including the introduction of an air ambulance service in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the establishment of a satellite center for the Institute of Cardiology in the southern districts. For law and order, 140.62 billion rupees have been allocated, along with 8.11 billion rupees for social welfare, 7.53 billion rupees for industry and craft, 9.66 billion rupees for tourism, 28.93 billion rupees for agriculture, and 31.54 billion rupees for energy. The provincial government will establish the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Distribution Company and initiate the Batta Kundi Naran Hydro Project to generate 235 MW of electricity.

The budget proposes 14.69 billion rupees for livestock, including community-level fodder storage centers, and over 14 billion rupees for forests, with the launch of the Billion Tree Plus project. Employee salaries will see a 10% increase, with a 10% hike in pensions for retired employees. The minimum monthly wage in the province is proposed to increase from 32,000 to 36,000 rupees.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government disclosed income from other provinces in the form of a 3% share for the tribal districts: 28.8 billion rupees from Punjab, 11.3 billion rupees from Sindh, and 4.2 billion rupees from Balochistan. Expected hydropower income is 111.3 billion rupees, with 33.1 billion rupees from annual hydropower income and 37.1 billion rupees from federal arrears. The budget also includes 41 billion rupees of disputed hydropower arrears with the federal government.

The provincial government revealed an income of 46.8 billion rupees under the windfall levy, 26.2 billion rupees from oil royalties, and 11.4 billion rupees from gas royalties. Gas development surcharge income is estimated at 2.7 billion rupees, with an additional 2.7 billion rupees from excise duty on gas. Revenue mobilization is set at 93.5 billion rupees.

The budget proposes significant tax changes, including a fixed sales tax for wedding halls and reduced property tax on factories from 13,600 to 10,000 rupees per kanal. Commercial property tax on monthly rent has been reduced from 16% to 10%. Taxes on private hospitals, medical stores, and health-related businesses are proposed to drop from 16% to 5%. An increase in the tobacco development cess is proposed, with plans to impose provincial excise duty on tobacco companies instead of farmers. Property transfer taxes are proposed to be reduced from 6.5% to 3.5%.