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Islamabad—Federal Finance Minister, Senator Ishaq Dar on Monday chaired the second meeting of the 9th National Finance Commission (NFC) in Islamabad.
Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, (Finance Minister Punjab), Senator Saleem Mandviwala (Member NFC Sindh), Prof. Muhammad Ibrahim Khan (Member NFC KP) and Dr. Kaiser Bengali (Member NFC Balochistan) participated in the meeting.
Finance Secretaries from the four provinces also participated in the meeting. Federal Finance Secretary, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance also attended the meeting.
Chairman, NFC Senator Ishaq Dar welcomed the participants and gave a brief overview on the structural and reform initiatives taken by the federal government during the last three years.
He appreciated the consultations undertaken by the provinces and the federal government in a cordial atmosphere under the ambit of the National Finance Commission.
The meeting also considered and approved the Biannual Monitoring Report of the 7th NFC Award for the period January to June, 2016.
Ishaq Dar in consensus with representatives of provinces decided that the biannual implementation monitoring report of the 7th NFC Award will be placed before the parliament during the current week as per the constitutional requirement.
The Commission received presentations from the four Working Groups which have been constituted to deliberate on specific areas and prepare recommendations for the 9th NFC Award: namely, Resource Mobilization at Federal and Provincial level (Punjab), Devolved verses Integrated Tax structure-Evaluation of Tax Collection Framework in Pakistan (Sindh), Allocation Efficiency and Expenditure Analysis at the Provincial and Federal level (KP) and Rationalization of Subsidy and Grants (Federal Government).
The Commission Members appreciated the work done by the Working Groups which will provide a sound basis for the ongoing deliberations of the Commission for the next NFC Award. The Commission directed to update the reports of the Groups latest by 10th December, 2016.
Senator Ishaq Dar thanked all the provincial government representatives and members of NFC for their continued active participation towards finalizing the 9th NFC Award. The Federal and Provincial Governments agreed to achieve the next Award at the earliest and meet regularly.
In this regard the Chairman and Members NFC agreed to meet during the third week of December for the next round of consultations.
Talking to newsmen after the meeting, the Finance Minister said that decisions regarding 9th National Finance Commission (NFC) Award will be taken with consensus.
The Minister said the meeting was very fruitful and encouraging. He said in the second report on NFC was reviewed and participants held frank discussion on matter relating to the 9th Award.
He said 10th of next month has been fixed for preparation of final report on the Award.
Ishaq Dar said according to the constitution, no reduction can be made in the share of any province. Speaking on the occasion, representatives of the provinces expressed the resolve to finalise the 9th NFC Award at the earliest. They said the new award will be based on consensus.
Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, who was also present in the meeting, said that the NFC report has created awareness among the provinces.
Punjab’s Finance Minister Ayesha Ghous also attended the meeting. However, finance ministers of other provinces did not attend the meeting.
The National Finance Commission Award is a planned economic program enacted since 1951. It distributes monetary resources among the provinces and the centre. In the 7th NFC Award in year 2010, for the first time factors other than population also considered for distribution among the provinces.
The distribution was based on 82 per cent weightage to population, 10.3 per cent to poverty, 2.5 per cent to revenue generation, 2.5 per cent to revenue collection and 2.7 per cent to the land mass. The provinces’ share in the divisible pool of revenues increased from 47.5 per cent to 56 per cent in the first year and 57.5 per cent afterwards.
Under the award, Balochistan’s share in the provincial pool was increased to 9.09 per cent. Punjab was allocated a share of 51.74 per cent, Sindh 24.55 per cent and the NWFP 14.62 per cent.