LAHORE, (Pakistan Point News - APP -6th Sept,2016) : Punjab Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghous Pasha Tuesday stressed the need for a clear differentiation between powers at federal and provincial levels after the 18th Amendment to avoid the incidence of double taxation. All the provinces, she added, would finalise reports of their respective working groups in the light of recommendations agreed upon so far, which would be incorporated in the document to be forwarded to the federal government till September 30.
Dr Ayesha Ghous was speaking at a press briefing at the end of two-day consultative meeting on NFC Award here at Civil Secretariat. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Syed Muzaffar Said, members of National Finance Commission (NFC) Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, Qaisar Bangali and Naveed Ahsan, Federal Joint Secretary (Finance) Syed Anwarul Hassan and finance secretaries of all the four provinces were also present. The Punjab Finance Minister said working groups, while presenting their respective reports, held a very fruitful consultative meeting.
They not only endorsed each other's suggestions but also settled down host of other NFC Award-related issues, which had since long been lingering on due to mutual communication gap, she added. On this occasion, the KP Finance Minister thanked Dr Ayesha for hosting such a meeting and termed it a successful endeavour. All the federating units would have to focus on joint efforts in the larger interest of the country's sovereignty, security, peace and democracy, he stressed.
He said all the provinces had completed their respective tasks regarding the new NFC Award and hoped that the federal government would also convene a meeting on the subject at the earliest. NFC Member (Balochistan) Qaisar Bangali expressed the satisfaction that the consultative meeting provided an opportunity to explain in detail all the facts and figures behind their demands. He was hopeful that all the members would be standing side-by-side after the 9th NFC Award meeting.
Sindh Finance Secretary Syed Hassan Naqvi said the consultative meeting took a number of consensus decisions and there were little some small differences, which was a healthy sign. Muhammad Ibrahim Khan urged the federal government to submit its working group's report to realise provinces that the Centre was interested in the early distribution of resources under the new NFC Award. The Federal Joint Secretary, however, explained that the federal government was very much serious on the NFC Award and holding of the consultative meeting of working groups was aimed at ensuring speedy progress in that regard.
Earlier in the meeting, the 3rd working group of the NFC led by KP presented its report, detailing expenditure estimates of the federal government and provinces for next five years. There was a consensus among the provinces that expenditure estimation would be done keeping in view the responsibilities entrusted to the provinces after the 18th Amendment.