Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will present the budget on Tuesday under Chief Minister Mehmood Khan for financial year 2019-20.

Provincial Finance Minister Saleem Taimur Jhagra will present the provincial budget today in the provincial assembly session.

The total budget will be Rs900 billion, out of which Rs236 billion will be allocated to the development programme. 

A raise of 10 percent in salaries of provincial government employees and minimum labour wage Rs17,000 have been proposed in the provincial budget. Federal government has allocated a hefty amount of Rs48 billion in public sector development programme (PSDP) 2019-20 to improve socio-economic condition of the people from the tribal belt.

The government has earmarked the huge amount for speedy uplift of the merged areas under 10 years’ development plan in the budget 2019-20.

The civil society organisations and tribal elders welcomed the allocation of Rs48 billion in PSDP 2019-20 and termed it a step forward to bring these underdeveloped areas at par with the developed parts of the country.

Member National Assembly (MNA) Nasir Khan Musazai welcomed allocation of Rs48 billion in PSDP 2019-20 and termed it a positive step forward to bring tribal areas into national mainstream.

He said allocation of such hefty amount in budget showed the government’s deep commitment and sincerity towards the development of merged areas.

The PTI leader said problems of merged areas could not be addressed overnight and time would be required for its resolution.

Misal Khan, a retired Information Officer said the allocation would help remove sense of deprivation of people and expedite pace of economic development in the merged areas.

“Following merger of FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, expediting pace of economic activities in all socio-economic sectors especially in education, health, communication, clean drinking water, livestock and agriculture is need of the hour in tribal areas,” he said.

In addition to the allocation of Rs152 billion in the federal budget 2019-20, he said earmarking of Rs48 billion in the PSDP for merged areas has showed strong commitment of the present government towards development people of merged areas.

“Problems of people of merged areas would be largely addressed if priority was given to development of social sectors including education, health, water, agriculture, livestock and communication sectors,” he said, adding tribal people are largely depended on these socio-economic sectors.

Misal Khan said tribal districts have a lot of potential for tourism and this potential could be tapped by promoting hotel industries, installation of chairlifts and arranging tour packages.