By Khalid Hashmani, McLean
Pakistani newspaper reported that ANP-led provincial government of NWFP will pursue a new NFC Award Formula based on multi-factors. Their proposed formula will give weight to “Population”, “Poverty”, “Infrastructure” and “Presence of Afghan refugees“. I would recommend that the NFC formula be enhanced to include “Revenue Collection” and “Presence of all refugees/migrants from other provinces and countries”. I believe that this enhanced formula would be fair to all provinces as it will not only meet unique requirements of each province but also help the poverty-stricken and backward areas to overcome these deficiencies.
The current stand on NFC formula varies from one province to another. Where as Punjab insists that “Population” be the dominant factor. Sindh wants more weight to be given to “Revenue Collection”. Balochistan and NWFP provinces want “Poverty” and “Backwardness” to be dominant factors.
According to the newspaper reports the distribution of 2006-07 NFC award resulted in Punjab receiving 52.54%, Sindh 25.2%, NWFP 14.9%, and Balochistan 7.5%.
For many years, thee three smaller provinces (Sindh, NWFP, and Balochistan) have strongly protested that the current population-based formula has favored Punjab at their peril.
Let us hope that with the ushering of the new democratic government, the unfair and discriminatory practices such as NFC award and others will be changed so that there is a fairness in the Pakistani federation and justice for all provinces.
Aug 23, 2008