PESHAWAR: Business community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Thursday criticised the federal budget for next fiscal year for ignoring the province in developmental plan.
The businessmen expressed their reservation in a joint press conference, addressed by President Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI), Zahidullah Shinwari, Vice Chairman Board of Investment and Trade KP, Mohsin Aziz, President All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) KP, Raza Kuli Khan and President Flour Mills Association KP, Malik Iftikhar.
Speaking on the occasion, VC BOIT, Mohsin Aziz said the federal budget did not address KP issues and problems as it was passing through a difficult juncture for the last one decade due to war against terrorism. It also ignored KP in the developmental plan, they added.
He said KP is producing gas and it was planned that a power plant would be set up for attracting industrialists on cheap electricity rates produced through gas. Whereas, in the budget, federal levy has been imposed on gas by increasing its price, affecting the KP government’s plan of generating electricity
through gas on cheap rate.
In the federal budget, the advantage of surplus gas of KP was technically made ineffecive by imposing Gas Industrial Development Cess (GIDC), said Zahidullah Shinwari, President KPCCI.
Zahid said in the hydel generation plan envisaged in the federal budget, only Rs. 15 billion were reserved for projects in KP. A total of Rs. 43 billion have been reserved for generation of power through hydel resources and only Rs. 15 billion have been set for projects for KP which was 37 percent of the total outlay.
President KPCCI said about 90 percent of resources for generation hydel power were in KP whereas government had reserved only 37 percent of the total funding.
President APTMA KP, Raza Kuli Khan also criticized imposing of GIDC.
In response to a question, President KPCCI said he will raise concern in the meeting of a committee set up by Federal Finance Minister to discuss anomalies in the budget.
Similarly, he added, the Chief Minister KP will be briefed on the issue to take up the matter in the upcoming meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI).