PESHAWAR - Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Muzaffar Said alleged on Tuesday that federal government was not serious in formulating 9th National Finance Commission Award, adding that the province will face billions of rupees of deficit and financial hardships if the previous award was extended for another year.

Talking to media after attending meetings of the National Finance Commission (NFC) and Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), the provincial minister said KP had been deprived of financial resources to the tune of Rs200 billion due to delaying tactics in formulation of the 9th NFC Award, which he said was equal to playing havoc with the economy of the province. He deplored that the federal government was calling meetings after meetings since resuming parleys on NFC after long gap of one and a half year under well conceived policy and hence wanted to promulgate the old award again for the next fiscal year.

He said the federation should help the province get out of this crisis by providing additional funds for improving security and infrastructure. The centre has time and again provided generous funds to other provinces for different purposes, except KP, he complained.

 He said KP government would then be left with no option but to boycott fruitless meetings on NFC and approach proper forum in this regard.

He asked the centre to give special package to provinces till announcement of the new award in such critical circumstances, otherwise, he cautioned, it would be cruelty with provinces and economic murder of the people.

Muzaffar Said added he had to attend NFC meeting blindly again due to non-provision of the agenda and working paper.

“Instead of taking stock of our financial imbroglios, establishment of new national security fund and allocation of 3 per cent resources for it, increasing funds for AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan, Fata and preparations for national census were discussed in the meeting, the minister lamented, adding that the province had demanded provision of resources for anti-terror and security measures.

He said centre was duty-bound to address financial issues of the provinces first and mitigate its monetary losses before decisions for the future. He said KP government demanded from the centre to give special package equal to losses met out by the province due to terrorism till announcement of the new NFC Award.

Muzaffar maintained that KP government had made it clear that besides having devastated infrastructure due to natural disasters, terror, law and order incidents, the prolong stay of millions of Afghan refugees and IDPs had also deteriorated economy of the province that could not be improved with meagre indigenous resources.

He cautioned that extending 17-year-old 7th NFC Award to the next year without special compensatory package would further tarnish the situation.

The finance minister regretted that centre always played politics instead of giving due rights and resources to the provinces, which he said was against the national interest and cohesion. He said financial burden on KP had been increased manifold due to concurrent list and transferring of departments to the provinces.

The centre deserved 20 per cent of the national resources, not 42.5 per cent, in new NFC award while the remaining 80 per cent must be transferred to the provinces as per promise of the federation made in the previous NFC meeting to justify matters under 18th Amendment, National Action Plan, transparent use of the foreign aid and possible impacts of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project but no progress was made in this regard, he added.