Provinces seek powers to collect GST

NFC Award Working Group meets
Salim Ahmed

Lahore—Provincial Minister for Finance Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha has said that there is a need to clearly demarcate the powers of federation and provinces after 18th amendment so that problems like double taxation could be avoided.
She expressed these views while addressing a press briefing at the conclusion of 2-day consultative meeting of the four working groups set up under National Finance Commission Award on Tuesday.
She said that provinces will give a final shape to the reports of their working groups in the light of consensus proposals and submit them to the federal government by September 30. “Recommendations of all provinces will be included in the documents to be sent to the federation,” she said.
Minister for Finance of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Syed Muzaffar Said, Members NFC Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, Qaisar Bangali, Naveed Ahsan, Federal Joint Secretary Finance Syed Anwar ul Hassan and Secretaries Finance of the four provinces were present.
Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha informed the meeting that the consultative session of the provinces on the reports of working groups before NFC Award proved very useful. She said that members not only agreed with each other on proposals but issues relating to NFC were also resolved which had resulted from lack of mutual consultation.
Finance Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhawa thanked Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha for hosting the consultative session and termed it very successful. He said that there was a need to work collectively for national solidarity, peace and democracy.
He said that all provinces have discharged their responsibilities towards NFC Award efficiently and it is hoped that the federal government will soon convene the next meeting.
Member NFC Balochistan, Qaisar Bangali said that the session has provided an opportunity to explain the factors behind the demands. He said it is hoped that the same spirit of unity and understanding between the members will be witnessed after the meeting of 9th NFC Award.
Finance Secretary Sindh Syed Hassan Naqvi said that during the session a number of decisions were taken by the provinces with consensus while there was difference of opinion on some points which is a healthy sign.
Muhammad Ibrahim Khan demanded of the federal government to submit reports of its working groups at the earliest so that provinces become sure that federation is serious in early distribution of NFC Award.
Syed Anwar ul Hassan said that the purpose of the meeting of the working groups was to make progress on NFC Award and added that the government is taking this matter very seriously. Before the press briefing, the third working group which was led by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa presented its report giving estimate of expenditure of federation and the provinces during next five years.
There was consensus that the estimate of the expenditure should be made in the light of the responsibilities devolved to the provinces after 18th amendment.

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