PESHAWAR - To draw the future line of action against the delay in holding the meeting of the National Finance Commission (NFC), an inter-provincial meeting of all the four provincial finance ministers will be held in Islamabad on September 19.

The meeting has been called at the invitation of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s government.

“We have formally invited by having meetings with the provincial finance ministers of all the federating units. Happily, they all have assured us to attend the meeting which is being held in Islamabad,” KP Finance Minister Muzaffar Said told reporters on Friday.

“As an observer, we have also invited the federal government to the moot,” he informed adding that all the arrangements for the purpose have already been finalized.

The meeting aimed at reaching a consensus among all provinces to evolve a joint strategy regarding the coming NFC award, which is being delayed by the federal government to announce it, he said.

Meanwhile, it will be an attempt to be on one page on the issue of the NFC, the KP finance minister said.

The 8th NFC award had been announced in 2009, and the next award was to be announced in 2015. It is now 2017, but unfortunately, the federal government didn’t bother even to hold the NFC meeting, he was of the view.

In the scheduled meeting, “We will demand the center to call the NFC meeting to formulate 9th NFC award because it has already been delayed for about two-year,” he explained.

By doing so, the federal government is actually violating the Constitution, the minister claimed.

Flanked by Prof Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, a provincial leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, and NFC member from KP, Muzaffar informed that “our demand is so simple which is that the NFC award should be distributed at 80 per cent and 20 per cent ratio between provinces and centre”.

Besides, the federal government should give 3 per cent from its own share to Fata.

Several departments had been handed over to provinces after the passage of 18th amendment, which had increased financial burden on provinces. The federal government has not given yet the financial share of these departments to the provinces, the finance minister maintained.

Apart from that, it is crystal clear that after the fresh census the population of all provinces had increased. Therefore, “We want an increase in the share of provinces in the coming NFC award,” he asked.

“We will take it seriously to approach the Supreme Court if the federal government delays the NFC meeting further,” Muzaffar Said threatened.

Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar is accusing provinces of delaying the NFC meeting, which is a joke with the nation.

As the fact is that it is only Dar who is responsible for delaying the announcement of the NFC award time and again, he alleged.

He said that the KP government and his party would warmly welcome Fata’s merger with the province, as tribal people could not be kept deprived of their fundamental and constitutional rights anymore.

The minister said, “We are waiting for the day when the federal government will take solid steps for mainstreaming tribal belt.”