KARACHI - Sindh Minister for Planning and Development, Finance, Energy and Irrigation Murad Ali Shah wrote a letter to Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar conveying the provincial government’s financial constraints due to the delay in announcement of 9th NFC Award.

According to a letter written to Ishaq Dar, the provincial finance minister said that NFC Secretariat, Government of Pakistan has convened only one meeting of 9th NFC Award on April 28 last year. He said that the province had repeatedly approached the NFC Secretariat for finalisation of 9th NFC Award recommendations within the stipulated period of time and also emphasised to finalise its recommendations by May 31, 2015 through weekly meetings in Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab and KP in the first meeting of 9th NFC Award.

He said that the province has completed its task on Delayed Vs Integrated Tax Structure-Evaluation of Tax Collection Framework in Pakistan well in time and circulated its draft study paper to all sister provinces and federal government for comments/feedback.

Sindh further took lead in convening the first meeting of the Working Group on 9th NFC in Karachi on August 17, 2015, in the meeting, it was decided that the federal government would convene the next meeting of 9th National Finance Commission at the earliest; however in contradiction to this, the federal government did not convene a meeting till date, despite a series of letters reminding the same. He further said that it is constitutional responsibility to announce NFC Award for a period of five years under Article 160.

He said that the federal government had proven that it is in no frame of mind to announce the 9th NFC Award. This serves to reiterate the government’s callous attitude towards provinces, residents of which will be ultimate beneficiaries of the new award.

Murad further wrote that he recorded his strong reservation at the federal government’s unwillingness to undertake this important constitutional activity. As a result, the provinces are being deprived of their constitutional right of having a new resource sharing formula.

Syed Murad Ali Shah recalled upon the federal finance minister to ensure the principles enshrined in the constitution are followed, as pertained to matters of finance. It is most unfortunate that this has not been the case to date.

Accordingly, he requested to adhere to the constitution, and in the best interest of the people, and convene an immediate meeting of the 9th NFC Award with an objective to finalise its recommendations before the commencement of the next fi

If the federal government is willing to dedicate time, it is still possible to finalise the next NFC Award before the budget. The federal government must fulfil its constitutional obligation for the announcement of the 9th NFC Award without any further delay, the letter concluded. Heatstroke relief camps have been established in various spots in DMC Korangi to provide emergency medical help to the people in the hot weather.

DMC Administrator Korangi Nisar Ahmed Soomro said this while visiting the heatstroke relief camps, said a statement on Friday. He said the staff would be available in the camps in three zones in shifts while special wards have been set up in the Landhi Medical Complex with the cooperation of DMC Korangi. The administrator said that Dr Riaz Haider is assigned as incharge of the special wards.