PESHAWAR -  The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government on Thursday unveiled its three-year Public Financial Management Reform Strategy (PFMR) 2017-20 that encompasses reforms in public financial management across the board at both provincial and local government levels.

The KP Finance Department launched the strategy in a ceremony held with Finance Minister Muzafar Said in the chair. Besides, it was also attended by the provincial secretaries of all departments, senior government officials, representatives of development partners, civil society organisations, academia, researchers, and journalists.

The strategy paper envisions citizen-centric and responsive governance mechanisms ensuring equity, transparency, and accountability in the management of public finances. The outcome of the reforms will be measured and monitored through projected targets mentioned in the strategy paper. The successful implementation of the strategy aims at expenditure control of Rs2 billion in 2017-18, Rs4 billion in 2018-19 and Rs6 billion in 2019-20. The reforms are targeted to yield additional revenue of Rs25 billion in 2017-18, Rs35 billion in 2018-19 and Rs50 billion in 2019-20.

“The strategy will go a long way in ensuring accountability, bringing transparency and eliminating corruption in the conduct of business of all the provincial government departments,” the minister said. The government has achieved another important milestone with the introduction of this strategy which according to him will help to strengthen the financial management and business processes of the government.

“The current government has introduced many important reforms including Local Government Act, Right to Information and Services, Prevention of Conflict of Interest, Protection of Whistle Blower and Ehtisab Commission etc,” he said, adding that all these landmark initiatives have helped to make government processes and functions more transparent, efficient and accessible to the public.

According to the minister, the reforms strategy, which has already been approved by the provincial cabinet presented a roadmap for reforms focusing on policy based planning and budgeting, more control in budget execution and expenditures, greater resource mobilisation and reforms in taxation. As a result of these reforms, the budget information will be accessible to citizens, the establishment of specialised units to manage financial resources and accountability for results.

Finance Secretary Shakeel Qadir Khan said there is a clear road map for the implementation of the strategy which has been carved out in consultation with all stakeholders. He informed the audience that the strategy will be implemented in a period of three years for which all the development partners will be approached formally to extend their support.

The Public Financial Management Reform Strategy was evolved by the Finance Department with technical assistance from DFID-funded Sub National Governance Programme after consultation and dialogue with other departments. A multi-layered oversight mechanism consisting of political, administrative and public oversight has also been put in place to ensure implementation of the strategy.

The implementation of the 2010 strategy was patchy and the provincial government could not achieve the targets due to limited ownership, wavering political will, and lack of oversight. The focus of the strategy is on strengthening key public financial management structures and processes so that by the end of 2020 the KP government has established a robust system for ensuring equitable resource allocation, transparent and efficient budget execution and fiduciary risk mitigation, leading to improved service delivery.