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Govt moves to reconstitute 9th National Finance Commission

ISLAMABAD: The government has moved to reconstitute the 9th National Finance Commission for working out a formula for distribution of tax resources In the federal divisible pool among the provinces.

The government has sent a reference to President Dr Arif Alvi for reconstitution of the 9th National Finance Commission (NFC).  All the four provinces sent in their nominations for their non-statutory members.

The four provinces had nominated their non-statutory members to the NFC. Sindh has nominated Asad Syed, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has named Musharraf Rasool as their private member to the commission.

Balochistan has nominated former finance secretary Mahfooz Ali Khan and also demanded an increase in its share out of the federal divisible pool taxes on the basis of the 6th population census that showed its population had increased, while those of other provinces had reduced when compared to the population count of 1997.

The Punjab government has sent the name of Anwar Ahmad to represent the most populous province.

The commission may face yet another legal challenge in the absence of formal notification of census results

Finance Minister Asad Umar has been asking the provincial governments since Sept 3 to send their nominations to complete the NFC as the Centre struggled to finalise an economic package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) because the federal government has to indicate a clear line about financing arrangements for tribal districts being merged with KP and financing requirements of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

The reconstituted 9th NFC would be required to give 8th NFC award for five years but would have to face yet another legal challenge in the absence of formal notification of the results of the National Population Census because of concerns from various stakeholders, particularly about Karachi.