Experts said fiscal devolution is critical for consolidating the federation, said a press release.
They were speaking at the second day of a workshop on “Consolidating Democratic Devolution: Inter-Government Relations, Fiscal Management and Accountability.” International tax counsel Dr Ikramul Haq said that in the fiscal arena, Pakistan presents a story of failure with fiscal deficit increasing, debt on the rise, low tax-to-GDP ratio and no provision of universal entitlements by the state. “Fiscal empowerment of provinces in a real sense is needed by giving them the right to tax goods and services and provinces, in turn, must empower local governments.
Dr Galina Kurlyandskaya of the Centre for Fiscal Policy, Russia, said that decentralisation was the basic condition for an accountable government. For sub-national governments to be really accountable for their performance and to respond to citizens, they need to enjoy fiscal powers, she added. The event was organised by Pildat.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2014.
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