The non-release of funds as per NFC formula has badly affected the provincial budget and its development commitments – Murad Shah
Karachi: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Thursday that Sindh government has faced a shortfall of Rs.80 billion in federal revenue transfers during last eight months i.e. July 2020 to February 2021.
“This is not a small amount and it has badly affected the provincial budget and its development commitments,” he said while talking to the media just after visiting Teachers Training Institute, Hussainabad, Karachi.
Shah said that under the constitution the provinces are assigned the task of tax collection to the federal government and then the federal government has to distribute the collected amount among the provinces as per agreed formula. “But, sorry to say, the federal government has completely failed to achieve its revenue targets during its entire tenure of over two and half years, as a result the provinces have suffered.
The federal government has to distribute 57.7 percent of its total collection among the federating units as per NFC formula. “The PTI government has transferred Rs.80 billion short than the agreed amount to the Sindh government during the last eight months,” he said.
Murad Ali Shah said that he has been requesting the federal government to hand over collection of Sales Tax to the province and give them a collection target. “The provinces are closer to the consumers and they can collect more effusively and efficiently than the FBR,” he said and added “But all my requests have fallen flat on the deaf ears, as a result the provincial governments were facing shortfall in federal revenue transfers from the last two and half years.”
Lauding the performance of Sindh Revenue Board (SRB), he said it was capable enough to collect Sales Tax on behalf of the federal government, if it was allowed. He added that the federal government used to give hardly Rs.15 billion to the Sindh government before the creation of SRB around eight years ago. “This year, the SRB is going to achieve its collection target of Rs.130 billion – this is what it is called `the performance’ of the provincial tax collecting body,” he said.
Shah further said that the federal funding for cleanliness of the drains in Karachi has not been trickled down to the extent as it was committed.
To a question, Murad Ali Shah said that the PPP was preparing for a long march to Islamabad scheduled to be held on March 26 when the PDM leadership took up the issue of resignations from the parliament in its last meeting held in Islamabad. “Our Central Executive Committee has already suggested the party to use their resignations as the last option so that the `selected government’ could be sent back to home,” he said.
On a question, he said that the Elementary College, Hussainabad was not functioning from the last many years. “Around two years ago we made it functional on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode and various private partners were supporting it,” he said and added this institute would create best teachers and resource persons by imparting them training in latest teaching methods.
Murad Ali Shah said that the provincial government has 29 teachers training institutes all over Sindh. “We want to make them best institutions by adopting the on-going experience of Hussainabad College working on PPP mode”, he concluded.