- CM cuts down his discretionary funds, makes them subject to scrutiny
- Dost formally agrees to increase 10% in salaries, pensions of govt employees
PESHAWAR: Caretaker Chief Minister Dost Mohammad Khan in principal agreed to the authorisation of the budgetary proposals for an interim period of four months (2018-19) to be tabled to the provincial cabinet for final approval in its next sitting.
This was decided by the caretaker chief minister while presiding over a pre-budget meeting at the CM Secretariat here. He cut down his discretionary and secret fund, making it subject to the scrutiny of the cabinet and asked the quarter concerned to propose the rationalisation of the fund.
He said that the chief minister should first set an example of being disciplined that would be followed by the ministers and the bureaucracy. The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance Abdur Rauf Khan Khattak, Additional Chief Secretary Shehzad Bangash, Principal Secretary Shahab Ali Shah and secretary of the Planning and Development.
The meeting had detailed deliberations on the proposed budgetary proposals and the developmental schemes reflected in the new ADP 2018-19. Chief Minister Dost formally agreed to the 10% raise in salaries and pension of the provincial government employees. The meeting was given a detailed presentation on the mode of federal transfers to the province, the status of AGN Qazi formula and the net hydel power share and gas royalty of the province.
The meeting also discussed the provincial own receipts and the grey areas for widening the base of provincial tax collection. Addressing the pre-budget meeting, the caretaker chief minister directed for the efficient utilisation of the resources discouraging the misdirected and wastage of the resources and the resources incurred thus could be diverted to the overall development and public welfare of the province.
He said that the practical implementation on the AGN Qazi formula, endorsed by the president through a presidential order and even owned by the relevant quarter would jump up the provincial share on the net hydel power. The Supreme Court’s verdict legitimised the provincial claim but the provincial government should have the capacity to discover the scope of the verdict and should have got the full advantage of the decision of the superior judiciary.
He said that the AGN Qazi formula was the permanent solution of a long struggle of the province for the establishment of its claims. Chief Minister Dost said that the emerging scenario after the seven merged districts of the erstwhile FATA, posed multiple challenges. These challenges included the implementation on financial plan of the federal government for the expeditious mainstreaming of tribal of the merged seven districts.
He said that the provincial government should plan extension of different public sector institutions to the merged areas in order to start giving relief to the people. He said that he was heading a task force that will sketch out a clear roadmap for the mainstreaming of tribal and extension of services of different public sector institutions. He directed to plan a short, mid and long-term planning for the efficient management of merged areas.
Regarding the exploration of tourism and agriculture sectors as a source of revenue generation, Chief Minister Dost directed to plan the promotion of different scenic spots on tourism lines and the tourists would flood to such areas. He said that food autarky should be the ultimate target of the agriculture sector, adding that the department should go for modern crops growing techniques by giving education and training to the farmers that would enhance the productivity in the agriculture sector.