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Rabbani calls for fianlisation of NFC Award before budget

By Our Correspondent
March 13, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Former chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani on Thursday demanded of the government to finalise the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award before the presentation of the Annual Federal budget.

“The briefing of the Finance Ministry to the Standing Committee of Finance of the National Assembly was a page out of IMF conditionalities, which this government has agreed to and continues to keep secret from Parliament and the people of Pakistan,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

Mian Raza Rabbani said the subsisting NFC agreement was negotiated in December 2009 and article 160 of the Constitution 1973 stipulates that a new NFC Award will be negotiated after every five years but the government continues to violate the Constitution by not finalizing the NFC award as over 10 years have passed now and no new NFC Award has been negotiated. “This gross violation of the Constitution, of the fiscal rights of the Provinces, particularly, when clause 3-A provides that, share of a province in each Award shall not be less than the share given to the province in the previous Award,” he noted.

Raza Rabbani said the Finance Ministry is reminded that the subsisting NFC Award was finalized before the 18th constitutional amendment came into effect ie April 2010. “Therefore the said Award does not cater for the devolution of subjects to the provinces,” he said.

Ex-chairman Senate said it was in this reference that Council of Common Interest took a decision that the federal government will continue to finance the vertical programmes of health and education till each time a new NFC is negotiated. He said the Finance Ministry is also in violation of clause 3-B of Article 160 of Constitution 1973, as it is failed to lay the Implementation Report of the Award, by annually before both the Houses of Parliament and the provincial assemblies. “The last such Report which was laid was in June, 2018,” he said.