PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has unveiled Rs 900 billion tax-free surplus budget for the next financial year. Presented by the provincial finance minister Taimur Salim Jhagra on Tuesday, the budget has an allocation of Rs 162 billion for the uplift of newly merged districts of the province

Promising fast pace uplift of all areas of the province, the budget speech has revealed Rs 319 billion development program for all the district of the province.

The budget was presented in huge protest from the opposition benches protesting against the arrest of the former president of Asif Ali Zardari and the failure of the speaker national assembly to present his production order. Soon after the budget session started, members of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) started their protest.

however, it is expected that the budget would have smooth sailing from the assembly as the Government and Opposition parties have reached a consensus at a joint meeting called by Speaker KP Mushtaq Ghani a few days back

The provincial government has allocated Rs 162 billion for education, over Rs 52 billion for health, Rs 235 billion for the annual development project, Rs 45 bn for police and Rs 45 bn for local governments in the budget. The government has allocated Rs 1.8 billion for Billion Tree Tsunami project while Rs 3 bn would be reserved for mainstreaming the religious seminaries.

During the budget speech, the finance minister has announced 5 % ad-hoc relief will be given on the salaries of provincial government employees from BPS-17 to 19. Meanwhile, 10 % of ad-hoc relief will be given to BPS-16 and below grade employees of the KP government.

The Finance Minister also announced 12 per cent reduction in the salaries of the cabinet members and said that due to tough economic condition the government was in no position to increase salaries of the employees of BPS-20 to BPS 22. The government has assured that the budget is people-friendly and will provide relief to the low-income families of the province.