PESHAWAR - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet has approved the three-year Public Financial Management (PFM) reform strategy (2017-20), which envisages a comprehensive roadmap for reforms focusing on budget transparency, improved systems and governance.

The strategy, first of its kind in the history of the province, was developed by the KP Finance Department in consultation with stakeholders. The DFID funded Sub-National Governance Programme (SNG) provided technical support in formulation of the strategy.

Six key objectives of the strategy involve policy-based planning and budgeting; comprehensive, transparent and credible budget; improved predictability and control in budget execution and accountability.

Unlike previous policies in the province, PFM envisages an institutional platform-oversight committee to be headed by the finance minister with the sole objective of overseeing implementation of reforms under the ambit of the PFM strategy.

“We have a strong commitment to inducing change aimed at greater transparency, accountability and openness in the public sector governance. This is at the centre of our agenda of ensuring equitable development, improved service delivery and a corruption-free government system,” said KP Finance Minister Muzaffar Said.

This strategy, the minister said, would be of immense help in ensuring a uniformed, standardised and harmonised approach to best international practices in the field, both for provincial and local governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

It is worth mentioning here that the new strategy also builds on the accumulated gains of the integrated PFM reform strategy adopted by the incumbent government in the year 2010. The strategy is in tandem with the ongoing accountability and transparency regime, devolution reforms of the present government, Local Government Act 2013 and 18th constitutional amendment of the Federal Government enacted in 2010.

“This strategy is a result of concerted efforts, consultations and dialogue both within the government and with stakeholders,” said Muzaffar Said. He said, “The focus of the strategy was on strengthening key public financial management structures and processes.” He said, “The government has in place a robust system for ensuring equitable resource allocation, transparent and efficient budget execution and fiduciary risk mitigation for well-being of the citizens.”