ISLAMABAD

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday asked Punjab government to expedite the process for nomination of non-statutory member of Punjab in National Finance Commission, which will facilitate convening of NFC meeting.

The federal government had not convened the NFC meeting, as the commission was incomplete after member Punjab was made provincial Finance Minister. The constitution of the 8th NFC award is getting late due to the absence of Punjab’s member.

The PML-N government had failed to constitute 8th NFC award before the start of current financial year (July 2015), which led to extend the previous award for one year. The government held maiden meeting for new award in April this year and no further development has been made so far. “The next meeting of the NFC will be called when Punjab government nominates its member,” said an official of the Ministry of Finance.

Failing to constitute new award, the government would disbursed the revenue to the four provinces under the 7th National Finance Commission award during ongoing financial year 2015-16. The provincial governments get shares from federal government under the 7th NFC award on the following formula: Punjab 51.74 per cent, Sindh 24.55 per cent, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 14.62 per cent and Balochistan 9.09 percent

The Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday chaired a meeting of the Provincial Finance Ministers and Finance Secretaries. The meeting reviewed the fiscal operations of the Provinces relating to financial year 2014-15, which includes federal transfers to the provinces, provincial receipts and their total expenditures.

The Finance Minister said that Pakistan has the lowest tax to GDP ratio in the region and the provinces can help to improve the situation, this will further enhance the confidence of the investors desirous of dealing with Pakistan. The Finance Minister urged upon the Provincial representatives to make concerted efforts to enhance Provincial receipts and contain their expenditures in order to achieve the set targets.

The Provincial representatives informed about their efforts for revenue collection and also outlined the difficulties they were facing. Both Federal Government and the Provincial Governments shared their willingness to work in harmony to bring fiscal discipline for further strengthening of the economy.

It was agreed that Provincial Finance Secretaries will meet on quarterly basis in order to review the fiscal operation of the Provinces and issues shall be resolved through mutual consultation at appropriate level.