PESHAWAR:Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government on Thursday (July 20, 2017) unveiled its three-year Public Financial Management (PFM) reform strategy (2017-20) that encompasses reforms in public financial management across the board at both provincial and local government levels.
KP Finance Department launched the PFM strategy in a ceremony chaired by Minister for Finance Muzaffar Said. It was attended by provincial secretaries of government departments, senior government officials, representatives of the development partners, civil society organizations, academia, researchers and media.
The strategy paper envisions citizen-centric and responsive governance mechanisms ensuring equity, transparency and accountability in 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 Rs2bn in 2017-18, Rs4bn in 2018-19 and Rs6bn in 2019-20. The reforms are targeted to yield additional revenue of Rs25bn in 2017-18, Rs35bn in 2018-19 and Rs50bn 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”, said KP Finance Minister Muzaffar Said while addressing the ceremony.
The government has achieved another important milestone with the introduction of this strategy which according to him will help strengthening 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 all these landmark initiatives have helped making government processes and functions more transparent, efficient and accessible to the public.
According to the finance minister, the PFM reforms strategy, which has already been approved by the provincial cabinet presented a road map for reforms focusing on policy based planning and budgeting, more control in budget execution and expenditures, greater resource mobilization and reforms in taxation. As a result of these reforms, the budget information will be accessible to citizens, establishment of specialized units to manage financial resources and accountability for results.
Secretary Finance Shakeel Qadir Khan said that there is a clear road map for the implementation of the strategy which has been carved out in consultation with all the 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 PFM reform strategy was evolved by the Finance Department with technical assistance from DFID-funded Sub National Governance Programme (SNG) 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.
It is worth mentioning that the implementation of the 2010 PFM Strategy was patchy and the provincial government could not attain all 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.