Govt desires to finalize NFC award early: Senate Told

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 13 (APP) Minister fir Finance, Revenue, Economic
Affairs, Statistic and Privatization Ishaq Dar on Friday informed the
Senate that the Federal Government wanted to finalize the next
National Finance Commission (NFC) Award as soon as possible.
Winding up discussion on a motion to discuss the report of
1st Biannual Monitoring on the Implementation of NFC award (July to
December, 2014), he said “It is my desire to finalize the NFC award as
soon as possible but its meeting cannot be called till the composition
of the commission and we are still waiting members from one province.
I had written four letters to the province but no reply had been
received till to-date.”
The minister said that non- finalization the NFC award
after passage of five years was not unconstitutional .
Ishaq Dar said that soon after receiving the names from
the provinces on April 24, the commission was constituted and its
first meeting was held on April 28 to discuss the various issues. But,
unfortunately one province withdrew it member, he added.
Under the current formula, he said, 82 per cent of the award was
based on provincial population, 10.3 per cent on poverty and lack of
infrastructure, 5 percent on revenue collection and 2.7 per cent on
population density.
He said it was not correct that period of one year of NFC award was
extended without consultation of provinces.
The Minister said as provided under clause (3B) of Article 160 of the
Constitution, federal and provincial finance ministers have to monitor
implementation of the award biannually and lay report in this regard
in both houses of the parliament and provincial assemblies.
He said Federal Board of Revenues (FBR) had reported collection of Rs
1167.06 billion during the period from July, 2014 to December 2014.
Ishaq Dar said that the percentage share of each province in the
provincial share of the divisible pool tax has been laid down in
Clause (2) of Article 4 of the Constitution.
However, he said, Article 3 (2) of the order also entitles Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa to receive one percent of the net proceeds of undivided
divisible pool taxes on account of losses on war on terror.
He said on the account the KP province was paid an amount of Rs 11.26
billion during the period – July-December 2014.
He said Rs 2.670 billion, Rs 5.709 billion, Rs 9.497 billion have been
paid to Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa respectively on account
of royalty on crude oil July-December 14.
The Minister said that Rs 0.213 billion, Rs 3.939 billion, 0.654
billion and Rs 0.733 billion were paid to Punjab, Sindh, Khyber
Paktunkhwa and Balochistan respectively in account of excise and duty
on Natural Gas during the period.
He said there was no need to make permanent secretariat of NFC.
Responding to a point raised by a lawmaker, he said FATA, AJK and
Gilgit- Biltistan was not part of the NFC award.”If you want to make
it part of the NFC, you have to make amendments.”
The Minister asked the lawmakers to keep politics and economy separate
for the supreme national cause.
He said that the government has increased funding for the Benazir
Income Support Programme from Rs 97 billion to Rs 102 billion to
benefit poor segments of the society. “The programme is an effort to
provide relief to the poor and vulnerable people of the society,” he
added.