ISLAMABAD: The Finance Ministry has transferred Rs 89.8 billion to Sindh government in accordance with the National Finance Commission (NFC) award in first quarter of the current fiscal year (July to October).
“In addition to above, Rs 80 million has been released to Government of Sindh for the Karachi specific Project “Lyari Expressway Resettlement Project”, a project co-funded by the federal and provincial governments,” a well-placed source at the Finance Ministry told this scribe here the other day. The source said that the as per NFC award, the federal government disbursed funds to the provinces, not to the regions/districts in a province and further disbursement/ distribution amongst the regions/ districts was the mandate of the provincial government/ assembly.
To monitor the implementation on the NFC award, the source said that the Finance Ministry was mandated to convene meetings of the stakeholders on bi-annual basis every year. “This meeting is often chaired by the sitting Finance Minister,” the source said, adding that such a meeting was also held in recent past in which implementation on NFC award: release of funds to provinces in accordance with was reviewed. The source said that the participants of review meetings included provincial Finance Ministers, Finance Secretaries, respective provincial members and other senior officials who held due deliberations on draft report compiled by the Finance Ministry regarding provision of funds to provinces.
“After approval by the meeting, the said draft report is presented before the Parliament & Provincial Assemblies,” the source added, saying that in the aforesaid meeting the participants reiterated the need to broaden the tax base to increase the overall collection and also increase the tax to Gross domestic product (GDP) ratio. The source said that revenue collection by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) remained Rs 2254.5 billion and Punjab was given an amount of Rs 637 billion, Sindh Rs 302 billion, KP Rs 202 billion and Rs123 billion were provided to Balochistan out of this amount.
“In addition to this, the shares on account of royalties and grants provided to provinces are: Punjab (Rs 8.8 billion), Sindh (Rs 82.6 billion), KP (Rs 29.97 billion) and Balochistan (Rs 14.9 billion),” the source observed. The source said that as per commitment with provinces at the forum of Council of Common Interests (CCI), the federal government was providing Rs999.922 million to Punjab, Rs18.021 million to Sindh, Rs1 015.976 million to KP and Rs 533.725 million to Balochistan for the cash surpluses maintained with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) by the provinces during the first quarter of current financial year 2014-15.
“The meeting also had detailed deliberations on the reporting mechanism of the FBR,” the source said, adding that Finance Ministry welcomed suggestions and comments for modification in the system from the quarters concerned so that further discussion in this regard in future could be held.