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Opposition Rejects KP Budget 2017-18

Opposition rejects KP budget 2017-18

PESHAWAR, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 10th Jun, 2017 ) : Opposition in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly rejected the provincial budget government for financial year 201718 as jugglery of words and deficit one.

The provincial assembly began debate on the budget here with Deputy Speaker, Dr Meher Taj Roghani in the chair. Leader of the Opposition, Maulana Lutf-ur-Rehman opened debate on the annual budget.

In his opening speech, the Opposition Leader said that like previous year, the PTI led provincial government had once again given a deficit budget. He said that though the government is declaring it a balance budget, but in our opinion it is a deficit one.

He said that non-salary amount in the budget is Rs 395 billion and the remaining amount of Rs 208 billion is for development. However, he said by the end of the year, it would be cut down, which would be adjusted through deduction in the development budget in the constituencies of the opposition legislators.

The opposition leader said that budget should not only contain attractive and catchy words, rather it should contain details of both receipts and expenditures for the year.

He said that the provincial govt has reflected a loan in the budget to be achieved from Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the construction of Rapid Bus Project.

However, he said that procedure of securing such loan is complicated and lengthy and government will not be able to receive in the remaining short time period. He was also critical of the reshuffle in the road sector schemes in the annual development programme of the outgoing financial year, saying that though the government had allocated Rs 10 billion, but it was transferred to other departments.

The opposition leader was also critical of the hefty salaries for the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the newly formed organizations like Provincial Energy Development Organization (PEDO), KP OGDCL and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company (KP-EZDMC) without taking their performance into consideration.

He said that the CEO of KP EZDMC has been arrested by NAB for alleged corruption while the services of the second have been extended illegally. He said that the government had miserable failed in the construction of its pledged 350 dams to generate electricity and resolve the problem of load shedding.

In response to the speech of the opposition leader, Provincial Minister for Information, Shah Farman said that on the basis of AGN Qazi Formula, the provincial government owes a huge amount of Rs 1500 billion to Wapda in head of net profit on hydel power generation.

He said that the payment of such resources would enable the provincial government to construct several energy sector projects to resolve the problem of load shedding. He also rejected the impression about the allocation of hefty amount for highlighting the achievements of the provincial government.

He requested all parliamentary parties to join hands with the provincial government to wage struggle for the rights of the province. On this occasion, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, who was also present in the House took the floor and assured that budget document is proposed and could be amended.

The parliamentary leader of PML-N, Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha rejected the impression of the tax-free budget, saying unprecedented taxes have been imposed in it on common men. He said that property tax has been increased by 50pc while government employees have also been taxed for first time in the history of the province.

Similarly, he said that taxes have also been imposed on wedding halls, loading of mobile phone balance cards and net cafes while taxes on petrol pumps and cng stations have been increased from Rs 8000 to Rs 12,000 per year.

He said that through the budget, the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has made the life of the poor miserable and even tailors are not exempted of the professional tax while tax ratio on doctors, medical laboratories and medical stores have also been enhanced.

The government, he said had failed in achievement of the revenue target of the current financial year and so far had collected only 60 to 65 per cent taxes. He declined to accept as provincial budget, saying it is focused only one five to six districts of the province.

However, he on behalf of opposition announced full support to the government in its struggle for the rights of the province. Others who participated in the debate were included Fakhare Azam Wazir, Sardar Hussain of PPP, Mohammad Ali of JI and Abdul Sattar Khan of PML-N.

The Deputy Speaker, Dr Meher Taj Roghani later adjourned the proceedings of the house till tomorrow (Sunday) 2:00 P.M.

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