Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Humayun Khan presented a Rs 249 budget for 2011-12 to the KP Provincial Assembly on Thursday, including a development component of Rs 85 billion. The presentation had much of its thunder stolen by the federal governments increase of pays and pensions, which the provincial governments had no choice but to implement for their employees. However, once this was done, the coalition ANP-PPP government found that the benefit of the 7th NFC Award, was being frittered away. Originally increased because the provinces now had to take up the financial burden of the devolved departments, the NFC increases have so far merely gone to fund the raise in salaries. At the same time, the ANP-headed government, which as a believer in greater provincial autonomy, had been in the forefront of the move to devolve certain federal departments to the provinces, does not seem to have taken any of the steps that would tell people that devolution had taken place, and had some meaning. It seems that the ANP limits the reality of provincial autonomy to promoting Indian interests, as its federal ministers are doing, and opposition to Kalabagh Dam. The budget did not include any gesture, not even a token one, towards the power crisis that is gripping the country in no small measure because of the ANP leading the opposition to Kalabagh Dam, a project in the best national interest. The creation of 6992 vacancies can be seen as an attempt to win electoral support as much as fulfil the needs of the provincial government. In development schemes, apart from the 632 ongoing schemes, there are also 403 new ones, which reflects a major expansion of development spending. This is not as good news for the province as it seems; for there is a lot of running to stay in the same place, because of the last monsoon floods, which wreaked such havoc in the province. Though nearing the end of its tenure, the ANP does not seem to be preparing for elections, at least not in making the budget.