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September 8, 2009
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PPP has majority votes in NFC

Business

September 8, 2009

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ISLAMABAD: The PPP has an unambiguous edge over quick finalisation of the 7th National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, as all the five finance ministers in the nine-member panel belong to it.

The PPP-NFC members are Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah (holding finance portfolio), Punjab Finance Minister Tanvir Ashraf Kaira, NWFP Finance Minister Humayun Khan and Balochistan Finance Minister Mir Asim Kurd Gello.

The private members, nominated by the provinces, are also under the influence of their respective finance ministers, except in the case of the NWFP where the ANP-led government appointed Senator Haji Adeel to represent the province, along with the PPP’s provincial finance minister.

Other statuary provincial NFC members are Abdul Ghafoor Mirza (Punjab), Dr Kaiser Bengali (Sindh) and Dr Gulfaraz Ahmad (Balochistan). Apart from Punjab member Abdul Ghafoor Mirza and the ANP’s Haji Adeel, the PPP-led federal government has a clear support of seven NFC members, five finance ministers and two private members (Sindh’s Kaiser Bengali and Balochistan’s Dr Gulfaraz) in the total nine-member panel.

Asim Kurd Gello originally won the provincial assembly seat from PB-30 (Bolan-I) on the PML-Q platform. Later, he became part of its like-minded group, but at present, he is undoubtedly a PPP member in the Raisani government in Balochistan.

The NFC met on August 27-28 and later, its two subcommittees held sessions on September 4 in Islamabad. Balochistan called for a 60 per cent share and the NWFP 80 per cent share in the federal divisible pool (FDP).

Besides, these two provinces pleaded for reducing the population factor and adding other factors to finalise funds distribution among the federating units. On the contrary, the Punjab and Sindh, without mentioning a clear-cut increase in the provincial share in the FDP, mainly concentrated on the base formula to divide federal funds among the

federating units.

The three provinces — Sindh, Balochistan and the NWFP — raised serious objections to the inclusion of Minister of State for Finance Hina Rabbani Khar in the earlier NFC body, as President Asif Ali Zardari was forced to exclude her on the argument of provincial imbalance.

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