PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) budget 2017-18 shows a steep declining trend in development investments for Education and Environment Protection while a slight increase in the energy sector still keeps it below one percent of the total development budget.
This was revealed in a statement issued by Amer Ejaz the Executive Director, Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI).
The CPDI has carried out a comparison of the budgets for the year 2017-18 and the last four years of the sitting government. Climate change and energy crisis are the two major issues challenging country’s economic growth.
The provincial government has government has allocated 0.43% of the total development budget for both of these sectors collectively.
The environment protection has been one of the most talked about issues in the province during the current government but the budget statistics show that the KP government has been allocating above 4% of the development budget on this sector till 2015-16, but this percentage dropped abruptly to 0.035% for the year 2016-17.
The revised budget estimate towards to end of year 2016-17 fell further to 0.026% additionally the year 2017-18 the KP government has allocated Rs 57 million for environment protection that is 0.027% of total development budget of the province for the said fiscal year.
Mr. Ejaz further stated that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had great energy production potential. Article 157 of the constitution of Pakistan gives the provinces this right to set up power houses but apparently the KP government seems to have lost its interest in the energy sector.
The development budget allocation for energy sector for the year 2014-15 was 4% of the total development budget that dropped drastically to 0.18% for the year 2016-17, this allocation was revised to 0.31% of the total development budget by the end of the same year.
However, the year 2017-18 the KP government has allocated Rs. 829.684 Million for the development of energy sector that stands at 0.4% of the total development budget.
Education sector has showed some good performance indicators in KP according to “Pakistan Education Statistics” report, said Mr. Ejaz.
One of the reasons for this improvement could be that KP government kept investing more than 20 percent of the development budget on education till 2014-15, the revised budget estimate of education sector remained 22.67% of total revised development budget of the province in 2014-15.
The budget estimate of 2015-16 showed first downward slide in education sector and it dropped down to 14.45%, rising slightly to 15.24% in revised budget of the same year. The budget allocation for year 2016-17 followed the same trend next year and remained at 13.5% that was re-estimated to 13.6% towards the end of the fiscal year.
The KP government has allocated Rs. 27,033.532 million under education sector for the year 2017-18; the allocated amount equals 13% of the total development budget of the financial year of the province Amer Ejaz added.