PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to adopt aggressive strategy including launching of legal offensive to press the centre for the early formulation of the 9th National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.

It was decided that finance minister, NFC committee members including Professor Mohammad Ibrahim, consultants, lawyers, finance secretary, additional and deputy secretaries will contact their counterparts of other provinces and centre on weekly basis and regularly inform the KP chief minister about the developments.

The survey report assigned to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has been completed ahead of time so that no argument is left untouched this time.

The planning, environment and development department has also been given the task to support the finance department for the first time in the history of province to achieve success in this regard.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Muzaffar Said called on KP Advocate General Abdul Latif Yousafzai at Civil Secretariat Peshawar, wherein all legal aspects in connection with the new NFC Award and other KP rights and resources were taken into stock and necessary decisions were made as well.  Earlier the minister chaired a meeting that was attended by Secretary Finance Ali Raza Bhutta, Prof Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, former senior bureaucrats of the province and others. The meeting discussed the issues and problems relating to NFC.

It was decided to resubmit the survey paper sought by the federal government, contact other provinces and centre to justify the case and show concern on unnecessary delay by the centre. Muzaffar Said thanked NFC provincial committee for the support, consensus and preparation regarding the new award.

However, he lamented that the centre instead of ensuring the provinces of rights, resources and needs, including the NFC, made every sensitive issue a victim to political considerations.  He said NFC award and other provincial rights had assumed significant importance.

He regretted that centre was trying to continue with the old NFC award for next year, though the award was formulated before the 18th Amendment, abolition of the concurrent list and the financial burden increased thousand times on the provinces after the transfer of portfolios to the provinces. 

Under the 7th NFC Award, the centre received 42.55 per cent funds, Punjab 51.74 per cent, Sindh 24.55 per cent, KP 14.62 per cent and Balochistan 9.09 per cent of the total funds while it was decided in the last NFC meeting in Islamabad that after the 18th Amendment and provincial autonomy and keeping in view the National Action plan, foreign aid, sustainable development goals and the potential impact of CPEC, the new award would be formed accordingly.  But no developed was made further in this regard though foreign and local loans obtained by federation exceeded to Rs 800 billion that were thousand times more than 2008, besides increase in inflation rate and price hike.

Similarly, besides the outstanding arrears of hydro net profit, payment to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government of the oil and gas cess of Rs 29 billion and Rs 119 billion under the 1991 Water Sharing Agreement also remained pending. Likewise, prolong stay of Afghan refugees and IDPs in the province, natural disasters, terrorism and security problems caused increase in poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment manifold that incurred immense financial losses to the province, but no remedial measures were taken by the centre or no financial packages had been given to KP government so far.