Pakistan provinces ink historic financial agreement

21:50, December 30, 2009      

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The provincial governments of Pakistan agreed on a new national formula on Wednesday, reaching a financial consensus for the first time in 19 years, reported local TV channels.

The signing ceremony of the seventh National Finance Commission (NFC) award was held in Gwadar, a newly-built port city in the south Pakistani province of Balochistan.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, the chief ministers of the four provinces, Federal Minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin and other government officials were present on the occasion.

Gilani in his address said that resolving the most politicized issue with consensus is the result of democracy. "This government did what dictator can't do. The federal government wants to strengthened provinces," he said.

"The whole nation is united against terrorism. The nation will hear good news soon when the 1973 Constitution will be revived in its original shape," Gilani said.

The prime minister said that the people of Balochistan have been deprived of their rights and his government will strive hard to give them their due rights. He said that Gwadar port is important for the economy of the country.

For the last two decades the NFC awards had always been remained a controversial matter but for the first time the federating units inked with a consensus.

According to the new financial agreement, the distribution of resources will be 42 percent according to population, 10.6 percent according to poverty and backwardness, 5 percent on revenue collection and 3 percent according to area.

The finance minister announced that the shares of provinces in the seventh NFC award are 57.7 percent and the federal will keep 42.3 percent.

Balochistan, the most deprived province, will be given 9.1 percent instead of 5.1 percent from the divisible pool, according to the new formula.

During their speeches the chief ministers of the four provinces hailed the federal government decision. They said that the award distribution formula is historic and will help in the unity of the federating units.

Source: Xinhua
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