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‘If Centre can’t do it, provinces must be authorised to collect taxes’


July 5, 2020

Nisar Ahmed Khuhro has demanded that the provinces should be authorised to collect taxes if the federal government itself is unable to discharge its obligations in this regard.

The president of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Sindh chapter said this on Saturday, when several activists and office-bearers of different political parties met him at his residence to announce their decision to join the PPP.

Khuhro said on the occasion that the provinces should not suffer if the Federal Board of Revenue has been unable to discharge its obligations of collecting taxes.

He said that once the provinces are given the authority to collect taxes, they will pay the federal government its due share in the revenue collected from the country.

He also said that the recently unveiled budget of the federal government for the new financial year 2020-21 contains a Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) having a total volume of Rs1.3 trillion.

This PSDP contains development projects for the provinces having a value of Rs560 billion, while the value of the projects for the federal government have the volume of Rs740 billion, he added.

He expressed surprise that the Centre had a major share of Rs740 billion in the new PSDP when it was supposed to get 43 per cent of the fiscal resources under the federal divisible pool, while the share of the provinces is 57 per cent.

He demanded that the provinces get the major share in the new PSDP in accordance with their share of 57 per cent in the federal divisible pool.

Khuhro said that the present federal government has been more interested in usurping the economic rights of the provinces. He pointed out that owing to his undemocratic tendencies, the incumbent prime minister does not like the concept of provincial autonomy.

He claimed that the present premier of the country intends to create a one-unit system in the country after abolishing the provinces. He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government’s “real anti-people face” has been exposed before the masses. The people are fed up of this government, he added.