Ten ministries to be abolished, shifted to provinces soon: Hafiz Shaikh

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance, Dr. Hafiz Shaikh said on Saturday that five ministries would be abolished in federal capital and shifted to the provinces under the devolution process within next few weeks.After inaugurating the seminar “Making the 18th Amendment and NFC Award Work,” the federal minister told media persons that additional five ministries from the center would be shifted to provinces by the end of this calendar year.The ministries to be shifted to provinces under the 18th amendment included Population Welfare, Youth Affairs, Local Bodies and Rural Development, Zakat and Usher, Special Initiatives, Culture and Tourism, Special Education, Social Welfare, Special Education and Minorities’ Affairs.The finance minister said that the ministries that are to be shifted within weeks included among others Youth Affairs, Special Initiatives and Zakat and Usher.To a question about abolishing the tax exemptions from various sectors, Hafiz Shaikh said that efforts would be made to implement taxes according to the spirit of upcoming new Reformed General Sales Tax bill.The RGST Bill is scheduled to be taken up for discussion in the parliament during its upcoming session starting from 1, November.Earlier, speaking at the inaugural session, the federal minister described the conference as timely to deal with the critical issues facing the nation after the passage of 18th amendment and National Finance Commission award which would have impact on economy.He said that responsibilities are being shifted to province which of course is a great task and needs solutions for some great issues.
He said that NFC award was long over-due and the current award has fixed multiple criteria for the distribution of funds which he said was the long standing demand of the provinces adding that the provinces would be getting share of 56 percent from the resources.
He expressed the hope that the conference would come out with practical recommendations and guidelines to make the 18th amendment and NFC award work adding that the government would consider the recommendations forwarded by the forum.The two-day conference is being organized by Forum of Federations, the global network of federations and Center for Civic Education Pakistan aiming at utilizing international experience for implementing and resolving the confronting relevant issues.The conference is being participated by known economists, professionals, analysts and technocrats from within the country and abroad.
The speakers on the occasion, described the unanimous passage of 18th Constitutional Amendment and the 7th NFC Award as historical achievements and urged their implementation in letter and spirit – App