The NFC Imbroglio!

There is a lot of wrangling over the recent NFC constituency orders.

The proponents of a strong centre are opposing the devolution of power to provinces. The Govt. is likely to go behind the 18th amendment of the constitution which had given the provinces enough fiscal autonomy by defenestrating centre raj. The federal government’s power jurisdiction is ebbing away.

The recent Presidential orders are emphasising the centre’s dictum to slash the provincial tax divisible pool from 57.5pc. The 18th amendment has devolved the ministries of education, health, women development, tourism and environment to provinces which enhanced their tax bases.

There is also largely looming anaesthesia of confidence-building among centre-provincial relations. The current revolt is squirming with the trajectory of the centre’s fiscal mismanagement. It is inextricably intertwined with the idea of “Good Governance”.

The federal government’s demand for support the fiscal deficit with the repayment of the debt, Security funds, loss of SOEs, cost of subsidies as well. The Federal government has also been failed to enhance the tax-to-GDP ratio from 10 to 15pc during the 7th award in compliance with some political reasons.

Still looking over to provinces to support with the expenditures of AJK, GB and previously FATA; has been unable to plug the massive haemorrhaging of resources by SOEs.

Therefore, in the wake of devolution, the centre should now revisit its strategy of reversing the progress made so far and cut down the unnecessary expenditures on maintaining the structures of devolved entities.

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