Meeting to finalise new NFC to be held on March 1: Senate told

ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Thursday apprised the Senate that a meeting to finalise new National Finance Commission (NFC) award was scheduled on March 1.

Replying to a calling attention notice raised by Mukhtar Ahmed Dhamrah about the delay in NFC Award, the minister said, earlier three meetings were held but participants could not reach a consensus.

He said federal government was fully committed to finalising the NFC award as soon as possible with the consensus of provincial governments.

The government was facilitating and steering the NFC process for early finalisation of the award, he said.

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He said the federal government was not overriding the process as the government had only two members out of total 10 while the provinces have eight members.

Afzal said as per constitutional provision, new NFC was to be set at intervals not exceeding five years. This was up to NFC to finalise new award with consensus, he said.

He said, “An NFC award remains in the field till the recommendations for a new award are finalised and given a legal cover by the issuances and President’s order”.

The 7th NFC Award would remain in the field till the announcement of a new award, he said, adding that the provinces were getting their due share as per existing NFC Award and prepare their budgets accordingly.

He said every province was getting their cheques every 15 days and their shares have also been doubled.

The minister said the President in pursuance of article 160 of the constitution had constituted the 9th NFC Award on April 24, 2015.

He said in its inaugural meeting held on April 28, 2015, the 9th NFC decided to constitute four thematic working groups in order to make its deliberation meaningful.

All the working groups have completed their assigned tasks and a report was presented to NFC in its 3rd meeting held on December 19, 2016, he said.

The minister said in the meeting, the federal government presented two proposals regarding the allocation of 3 per cent of the divisible pool for national security fund and 4 per cent for special areas including AJK, GB and FATA.

He said, however, Sindh, KPK and Balochistan have not agreed to the said proposals.

The provinces were of the views that special areas and AJK were not part of NFC and the security was the exclusive responsibility of the federal government.

Meanwhile, the minister also presented implementation reports on the recommendations contained in the report of the Special committee on 24 demands made by the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the House.

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