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Javed Jabbar’s Nomination To NFC As Representative Of Balochistan Raises Eyebrows

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Former Senator Javed Jabbar’s nomination as a representative of Balochistan in the newly-constituted National Finance Commission (NFC) is being criticised on the grounds that he is not the resident of the province he is supposed to represent. Some commentators also opine that Jabbar is not an expert on financial matters and that the province deserves to be represented by a person who can better contest Balochistan’s case.

Backstory: On Tuesday, federal government formed the 10th National Finance Commission (NFC) with effect from April 23, 2020. Dr Hafeez Sheikh, PM’s Adviser on Finance, will chair the commission and finance ministers of Punjab, SIndh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan will be its members. Others who have been nominated to the NFC are Tariq Bajwa from government of Punjab, Dr Asad Sayeed from Sindh, Musharraf Rasool Cyan from KP and Javed Jabbar as representative of the government of Balochistan.

Who said what: Independent member of the National Assembly from Gwadar-Lasbela Mohammad Aslam Bhootani who also happens to be the PTI’s ally in the federal government, disapproved of Javed Jabbar’s nomination. He told reporters that he would challenge the decision in court.

“The chief minister did not find a single qualified person in 10.3 million population of Balochistan to plead Balochistan’s case in the NFC and protect interests of the province?”, he asked.

Activists and journalists also disagree with Jabbar’s nomination.

 

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What is NFC: The NFC is a constitutional body meant to distribute financial resources between the federal government (vertical distribution), and the provinces (horizontal distribution). The taxes collected by the federal government are included in the NFC award and they form a divisible pool comprising taxes on income like corporate and sales tax etc.

The Constitution says that the NFC is to be formed for a period of five years. It is constituted by the President of Pakistan.  After its formation, the stakeholders negotiate and forge consensus on a formula to distribute the finances and the agreed-upon plan is followed for the next five years.

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