PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which is poised to form government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with two-third majority, will face daunting challenges like increasing provincial receipts, widening of taxation base, overcoming unemployment and alleviating poverty, besides promoting public-private sector partnership to increase revenue generating resources.
The PTI, which made history by staging a comeback for the second consecutive term in the province, will also have to focus on unaccomplished agenda it left unfinished during its first tenure 2013-18 that included accelerating reforms in health, education, revenue, police and other socio-economic sectors.
The PTI would focus on making reforms in health, education, energy, public health and irrigation to consolidate its efforts the PTI made in the previous tenure in Khyber Pakthunkhwa.
Professor Dr. Naeem of Economic Department, University of Swabi told media that the major challenge the PTI would face included registering considerable rise in the provincial resources, increasing of tax base and financial condition of the province.
As per the PTI’s manifesto, the PTI pledges to promote the accountability process and strengthen institutions besides overcoming the challenges of unemployment, poverty and price hike. The previous government of PTI had concentrated on improvement of good governance, judicious utilization of financial resources and passed a number of legislation from the provincial assembly and its implementation on ground benefited common man besides enhanced efficiency and working of the public sector department.
“Since, the KP would see for the first time Government of the similar party in the centre would face no problem in obtaining its net hydel profit and it arrears from the Federal Government and we expect that this amount would be utilized on construction of new dams and strengthening of power transmission system in KP,” Dr Naeem maintained.
For increasing revenue sources of the province, he said, PTI economic managers would have to concentrate on widening of taxation base of KP that would help arrest price hike, unemployment, illiteracy and provide better socio-economic services to people at their doorsteps.
Dr Naeem said although reforms in police, education, health and other sectors introduced by PTI last Govt in KP has produced good results but still a lot of financial resources would be required for construction of state of the art new hospitals, colleges and schools in far flung districts of the province to reduce pressure on DHQs and Peshawar hospitals.
Professor Naeem said Pakistan was confronted with water crisis and cogent measures were required for construction of new dams to cater the ever growing water needs of agriculture and domestic consumers. He said KP has a huge potential of hydel power generation and huge financial resources would be required for construction of new dams and water reservoirs in the country.
“Certainly, industries will grow only when direct investment comes in a country for which special incentives package would be required to attract investors,” he remarked.
Dr Naeem said Imran Khan’s ambition plan to provide jobs to 10 million and 5 million low cost houses to people in next five years was feasible and could be achieved by strengthening the country’s economic and revenue base besides encouraging private sector.
The country is currently facing a backlog of around 10 million houses mostly needed for middle and low-income groups, adding cheaper and long-term mortgage financing for 10 to 20 years may help in overcoming this issue for which huge funds would be required.
By promoting housing sector, he said over 70 allied industries like cement, steel, paint and woodworks would be bolstered, which would create jobs opportunities for hundreds of thousands of youth and skilled labourers.
He said GDP growth was mostly linked with uplift of agriculture and industrial sectors and emphasized the need for diverting of maximum resources to bolster these key sectors imperative to arrest menace of unemployment, alleviate poverty and control inflation.
Dr Naeem said PTI will also face the major challenge of expediting process of development of Fata following its merger in KP and maximum financial resources would be required for construction of police stations, judicial complexes, capacity building of levy forces and overcoming shortage of police and judicial officers in seven tribal districts.
Fawad Ishaq, former President Khyber Pakthunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI) said people have highest expectations from PTI upcoming government to expedite work on Metro Bus Project in Peshawar and Swat Motorway that after completion would accelerate pace of economic development, promote tourism and provide quality travelling facilities to people of KP.
He said industries in KP had suffered due to long hours load-shedding and high tariff cost on electricity and expressed optimism that PTI government would help lower tariff cost of power to promote industrialization and business activities in the province.
“infant industries will be encouraged only when electricity and raw materials are available to them on minimum prices besides strengthening of power infrastructure for quick transmission of electricity from power generation units to industrial estates,” he explained.
A modern dry-port, revival of Peshawar-Torkhum track, Azakhel dry-port and subsidy on railways freight services for transportation of raw materials from Karachi to Peshawar would help bolster industries and its growth in Khyber Pakthunkhwa besides earning valuable foreign exchange for the country.
He said special plots on subsidized rates at industrial estates would help encourage industrialist to setup industries vital for generation of employment opportunities, alleviation of poverty and self-sufficiency in industrial’s production in the country.