Pakistan

Provinces’ dissent delaying next NFC award, says Dar

ISLAMABAD: Explaining the reason behind delay in the announcement of next National Finance Commission (NFC) award, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Tuesday said that the current NFC award would remain intact until consensus with the provinces reached on the matter.

The finance minister said it while winding up the budget debate in the National Assembly on Tuesday evening.

He said the government wanted to allocate three percent each to Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Kashmir out of the gross divisible pool to meet the expenses for additional security.

“[However] the proposal needs consensus from the provinces and the next award will be announced soon after the consensus developed on the matter”, Dar added.

Clarifying the misconceptions about the public debt, Dar asserted that the foreign debt which was 48.1 billion dollars in 2013 stands at 58.4 billion dollars now.

“According to a transition plan, the debt to GDP ratio will be reduced to 50 percent during next fifteen years”, he added.

Meanwhile, the finance minister again invited the Opposition to agree on a Charter of Economy in consultation with all stakeholders to ensure economic stability in the country.

It is worth mentioning here that the finance minister yesterday while addressing budget debate in the national assembly had said that the ministry accepted budget 75 recommendations proposed by the Senate and standing committees besides 147 recommendations were forwarded to the planning division.

He further said that the target for GDP growth for fiscal 2017-18 has been set at 6 percent, adding that the current GDP growth was at 10-year high.

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