SINDH Information Minister Shazia Marri, while talking to mediapersons, has said that there is a need to make a more equitable distribution of resources by making changes in the National Finance Commission Award so that economically underdeveloped provinces can get their just share of the pie. She also said that the provincial governments must be allowed to retain the entire revenue raised through General Sales Tax (GST). There is no denying the truth of what the Sindh Information Minister has said. So far, the NFC criteria for distribution of funds to a province is flawed, as this formula makes population the sole condition for resource sharing. As things stand, only one province has benefited from this, leaving other federating units with a meagre share from the divisible pool of federal revenue. Undoubtedly, the province that has suffered the most is Balochistan. With 40 percent of area and only 5 per cent of the country's total population, it has been getting very little compared to its contribution from the resource-rich land mass. It would take an eternity for the province to develop, if it keeps on getting its share from the existing award. Equally woeful is the situation in NWFP. It should not be hard, therefore, to see the economic deprivation in terms of the militancy sweeping through the area. Nonetheless, it is mainly because of this population-based formula that the NFC award has been a bone of contention. The need however, is to change it and make multiple criteria the basis of the award. According to this approach, poverty, revenue generation, social backwardness etc should be the primary factors determining the distribution of national resources. The other side of the coin needs to be reviewed as well. Pakistan is a federation only in name; it is the federal government which has always called the shots. In the past, the provinces and the centre have been at loggerheads over the issue of fiscal decentralization. It is a pity that while the provinces generate the revenues, the federal government administers 95 per cent of them.   That said, the Sindh Information Minister has directed attention in the right direction. The NFC award is a serious issue and the government must take bold steps to address the grievances of the smaller provinces. Moreover, it is ideal time, as the new dispensation not only carries the mandate of the people, it carries their confidence as well. The major parties must sit down and devise a formula acceptable to all. But the overriding concern should be to alleviate the misery of the marginalized people.