islamabad

Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar presided over a bi-annual meeting with the Provincial Finance Ministers and Secretaries (Members of NFC) to monitor implementation of National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.

The meeting reviewed implementation for the period July-December 2013 of the current financial year. It was informed that the gross divisible pool taxes amounted to Rs.1010.72 billion after deducting one percent collection charges and one percent war on terror charges being given to KPK. The balance net divisible pool amounted to Rs.990.58 billion. Of which 569.58 billion is the provincial share. The meeting was informed that from provincial share in the divisible pool taxes for July-December, 2013, the provinces received; Punjab Rs.294.69 billion, Sindh Rs.139.84 billion, KPK 93.27 billion and Balochistan Rs.61.63 billion.

The Finance Minister announced the payment on account of incentive to provinces for maintaining surpluses for second and third quarters of the current financial year. It may be mentioned that CCI had decided that the provinces will be allowed the rate of return on their surpluses at latest T-bills rate, maintained for a minimum of three months. The total of Rs.3392.668 million will be released to the provinces on this account. Of which Punjab will get Rs.556.485 million, Sindh Rs.2.313 million, KPK Rs.1207.410 million and Balochistan Rs.1626.480 million.

The Finance Minister said that during the current financial year provinces will be getting Rs.200 billion more than their shares last year. He said that the Federal Government does not delay payments to the provinces after completion of reconciliation process. He added that steps can be taken to decrease the time consumed in the reconciliation process, in consultation with the provinces. The Finance Minister also urged the provinces for early implementation of Council of Common Interest (CCI) meeting decision regarding Federal Adjuster issue. He also informed the provincial representatives that in the next NFC meeting, all issues of provinces will be discussed and procedural improvements will be made in consultation with all stakeholders.

Sirajul Haq, Finance Minister KPK, appreciated the visible improvements in the economic indicators and said that if more revenues are generated, than there will be more benefits for both Federal Government and the provinces. All the participants of the meeting expressed their satisfaction over the implementation of NFC Award and appreciated the Finance Minister for his kind support and guidance.

The meeting was also attended by Syed Murad Ali Shah, Advisor to Chief Minister Sindh on Finance, Siraj-ul-Haq, Finance Minister KPK, Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Finance Minister Punjab, senior officials of the Ministry of Finance and provincial governments.