Lahore, March 29, 2019: Federal Finance Minister Asad Umar Friday said efforts were being made to complete the process of 9th NFC (National Finance Commission) Award by December 31, 2019, besides improving the federal and provincial governments’ coordination regarding collection of taxes.
Talking to the media after a meeting on the 9th NFC Award here at the Civil Secretariat, he said a meeting reviewed the measures taken by six working groups, which were constituted during the last meeting on the subject. He said that it was a good omen that federal, Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Sindh provinces had been assigned the coordination of one working group each, while Balochistan was tasked coordination of two working groups.
The meeting also examined the demands, suggestions and recommendations of all five federating units and worked out further strategy and a line of action.
The federal finance minister said there was a good spirit among all federating units during the deliberations to bring forth an improved NFC Award, ensuring a win-win situation for all.
He said that right now, a final date could not be given for announcement of new NFC Award, and process for it would hopefully be completed by Dec 31, 2019. However, there are one or two matters upon which a principled stance was needed to be adopted. One of these matters was the development and betterment of FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas), after their merger with the KPK, he said and added that there was a strong resolve of the nation to expedite the development process in these areas.
Asad Umar said that coordination among federal and provincial governments for tax collection had weakened for the last few years, asserting, “We want to strengthen the coordination on tax collection among the federal and provincial governments.”
On this occasion, Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht said that new NFC Award process was under way in very cogenial manner, adding that the 9th NFC Award would be equally beneficial for all federating units. He added that there was a spirit of collective benefits among all the stakeholders.
KPK Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra said that efforts would be made to bring about improvements in accordance with the suggestions and consultations of all provinces. He said that entire country would contribute to development of FATA.
NFC Member (Sindh) Asad Saeed said that there was a principled stance in the NFC meeting that new NFC Award should be decided in a way that there should be no loss or extra benefit to any of the federating units. It is hoped that further deliberations on the Award would continue in the same cooperative manner, he added.
NFC Member (Balochistan) Mahfooz Ali Khan said that a wave of terrorism was now shifted from FATA to Balochistan due to which its security expenditures had increased manifold. He stressed the need for formulating a mechanism to bring Balochistan province at par with other provinces.