KARACHI (Jan 11): Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the proposal of allocating seven percent funds from federal divisible for the security arrangement of CPEC –related projects and for the development of FATA and other areas is unconstitutional and would establish a wrong precedent, therefore all the provinces should oppose the proposal collectively.
This he said wile discussing NFC issue with Finance Minister of Punjab Dr Aisha Ghous who called on him here at the CM House today.
He said that the proposal of the federal government to allocate three percent funds from Divisible pool for CPEC-related security force and four percent for the development of FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir is unreasonable and against the constitution. The divisible pool is only for distribution of collected funds amongst the provinces.
It may be noted that the federal government has proposed all the province to allow an over all seven percent allocation funds from the divisible pool for security of CPEC projects and the development of FATA, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan
The Sindh chief minister is of the opinion that the federal government has already allocated one percent funds from the divisible pool for maintenance of law & order in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and now they are seeking the consent of the provinces to allocate three percent for the security of CPEC projects and four percent for the development of FTA, Kashmir and Gilgit Baltitistan. This is an unconstitutional demand and cannot be met.
He said that the share of all the four provinces in the divisible pool comes to 57.5 percent and the remaining 42.5 goes to the federal government. The Sindh government has already raised a force of 2000 ex-army men to provide security to the projects and employees of CPEC projects. Apart from it, the Sindh government has spent Rs300 billion on maintenance of law & order right from 2010-11 to 2015-16. “The federal government did not bother to hare a single penny and now they are pressing the provinces to give funds from their shares,” he said and added that it was quite unacceptable. “I would request to the Punjab government, KPK and Balochistan to develop consensus and oppose the proposal,” he aid. The Punjab Finance Minister, Dr Aisha Ghous assured the chief minister Sindh that she would support him.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also said that the provincial governments should have the right to collect sales tax on goods and then deposit the same with the federal government for onward distribution among the provinces according to their agreed share. “We have prepared the case and the Punjab government should also make a similar case so that it would be fight out in the next NFC meeting,” he said. The Punjab finance minister also supported Sindh.
He said that unilateral at source deduction of wealth tax from the share of Sindh government is another illegal act. The deduction is made purely on presumptions. The federal government before making at source deduction should reconcile the figures with Sindh government.
The Finance Minister of Punjab said that the reservations and grievances of the Sindh government are genuine and she would also support Sindh. She also said that the opinion of the Punjab government on the issue the Sindh chief Sindh has raised is the the same. The chief minister also said that he would take other provinces into confidence on these issues.