Punjab demands outstanding Rs176.3b claims from Centre

Says federal government has not released provincial share of NFC Award for the last seven months


Our Correspondent December 04, 2022

LAHORE:

The Punjab government on Saturday claimed that it is owed Rs176.353 billion by the federal government which has not released the provincial share of the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award for the last seven months.

The issue was raised by the Punjab Finance Minister, Mohsin Laghari along with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Finance Minister Taimur Jhagra and the spokesperson of the Punjab government, Musrat Cheema in a press conference at the Directorate General Public Relations (DGPR) office.

“The federal government has also not released any relief fund for flood recovery, and despite being responsible for the payment of the premium on the Universal Health Insurance Scheme (Health Cards) for Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, the dues have not been paid,” said Laghari, adding that only Punjab was paying a premium for health cards.

“The federal government is weakening the federation by not paying the provincial share at a time when provinces are dealing with flood disasters with their own resources,” he added.

The payment of all dues, including the NFC and net hydraulic profit, are routine matters which should made automatically. This atmosphere of non-cooperation is causing irreparable damage to the economy.

“Despite the economic crisis caused by the non-cooperation of the federal government, the Punjab government gave a package of Rs14 billion for infrastructural damage caused by the floods. This was only made possible by controlling other developmental expenses of the province,” noted the provincial minister.

Responding to queries, Laghari explained, “The economy grows through investment and government instability directly affects investment. To save the economy from crisis, it is important that we ensure the stability of the political process through general elections.”

The finance minister of KP questioned the ability of the federal government to resolve the financial crisis. He claimed that fresh general elections are the only solution to resolve the current stalemate.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2022.

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