The Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mahmood Khan presided over a meeting of the Provincial Cabinet that approved the budgetary proposals for the current fiscal year 2018-19 and the revised estimates of the previous fiscal year 2017-18. Provincial Ministers, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary and Administrative Secretaries attended the meeting.
The Cabinet was briefed about the budgetary estimates, the revised estimates, the financial bill including the current ADP and the ongoing schemes, the sector wise distribution of resources, the annul development plan, ongoing schemes, the transfer of 30 percent resources to the distinct governments, austerity measures, mega projects, the welfare and developmental expenditures, the revitalization of productive sectors, the federal transfers to the province, and the recommendations of the Finance Department for the smooth flow of resources to different sectors and the Cabinet approved the overall budgetary proposals, the recommendations of Finance Department related to the development and non developmental expenditures.
The cabinet was also briefed about the 7 newly merged districts of the erstwhile FATA, the ADP of these districts, the early completion of ongoing schemes and the new proposed schemes. The FATA ADP has prioritized small dams, technical education for skilled development, industrialization and mineral development which the cabinet approved.
Addressing the cabinet the chief minister said that the current budget had two dimensions that included reforms initiatives and realistic developmental strategy for the development and welfare of the people of the province. He appreciated the Finance department and other departments of the provincial government for working round the clock for realistic preparation of budgetary estimates, the reforms and development strategies in their respective domains.
Mahmood Khan agreed to the widening of fiscal space of the province and stressed for early transfers of resources from the federal government. The provincial own resource base needed to be expanded in order to have fiscal space for economic and development related requirements of the province and resolution of people problems. He stressed for achievement of all the targets by all departments. The widening of fiscal space, he added would generate resources for the development strategy and reforms. He said that major chunk of resources would go to the mega projects, the ongoing schemes and the overall developmental strategy to be guided by reforms. He stressed for transparent and efficient utilization of resources and the revitalization of productive sectors making them capable to pay back and contribute to the overall resource generation of the province.
He said “We have a 100 day plan to have a clear direction for the next five years and tracking down the avenues for resource generation was inevitable for the sustained development of the province”.
Agreeing to the cost cutting and redundant kind of services, the Chief Minister agreed to the austerity measures that included ban on new vehicles, medical expenditure abroad and non re-appropriation for the second time in the current year. However, the projects to be put on fast track needed resources and that should be taken care of, for the benefit of the people. The local government system should get resources on time and the local government should prioritize the completion of ongoing schemes.
He stressed on the expeditious development of different sectors for efficient services in the newly seven merged districts of the erstwhile FATA. The backward districts among them should be the focus of attention, and there should be prioritization of small dams, roads infrastructure development, social welfare activities, tourism etc. in the newly merged districts. However, he stressed for the rapid boost of tourism in Malakand, Swat, Dir, Hazara, and parts of the province. Our developmental strategy would generate economic activities and creating space for the youth employments leading to the overall development and prosperity of the province, he added.