KP’s budget


GIVEN the current challenge posed by Covid-19 to the entire country, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa govt on Friday presented a very balanced budget and the one which has clearly outlined the priorities. The main focus has been given to the health sector with allocation of Rs 124 and rightly so as building capacity of the healthcare sector is need of the hour to protect the life of the people from the contagion. In the past this sector along with education was totally ignored but now it has become a sort of compulsion for federal and provincial governments to allocate maximum resources to transform the health sector that meets the requirements of the people. KPK’s government really deserves appreciation for successfully executing Sehat Insaf Card which in fact enabled poor population to get best possible medical treatment from the health facility of their choice. As regards the KP’s development outlay of Rs.318 billion for the next fiscal year, it is more than Rs100 billion higher than the revised estimate of Rs.220 billion for the current fiscal. After protecting the life of people, it is also important that the provincial governments protect their livelihoods and this can be done by ensuring timely releases of funds and execution of development projects that in fact will also go a long way in improving the overall landscape and living standards of the people. It happened for the first time in KP’s history that its people brought back a party to the power for the second consecutive time and that too with heavy majority. Heavy responsibility now rests with PTI’s provincial government to live up to their expectations whilst rising above mere rhetoric. BRT like projects must be completed at the earliest and the blunders made in the transport project should be avoided in future projects. Most importantly, the tribal districts should not be neglected in the development schemes. As was expected the KP Government also did not give any increase in salaries and pensions to its employees. Given the problems faced by the people due to price hike, we will recommend the PTI’s government at the Centre and provinces to reconsider its decision and give a reasonable increase in salaries and pensions to the employees besides needful should be done to protect the fixed income groups from the profiteers and hoarders.