Provinces to generate Rs286bn surplus to cut fiscal deficit

Published November 1, 2018
Provinces have agreed to adopt fiscal consolidation measures.— File
Provinces have agreed to adopt fiscal consolidation measures.— File

ISLAMABAD: The provinces have agreed to adopt fiscal consolidation measures and jointly provide Rs286 billion cash surplus to the centre to achieve the fiscal deficit limit of 5.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in FY19.

The agreement was reached at a meeting of the Fiscal Coordination Committee (FCC), presided over by Finance Minister Asad Umar here on Wednesday, according to an announcement of the ministry of finance.

The meeting was also attended by Chief Minister of Sindh and finance ministers and senior officials of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

The meeting reviewed the bi-annual implementation of the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award for July-December 2016, January-June 2017 and July-December 2017. The reports were approved for presentation to the parliament and provincial assemblies.

The Ministry of Finance briefed the meeting regarding fiscal consolidation program of the federal government. “Provincial finance ministers assured the federal government of their full support for the fiscal consolidation efforts as it was need of the hour,” the statement said, adding the governor State Bank of Pakistan was assigned the task to chalk-out a simplified procedure in this regard.

Matters relating to provincial surpluses were also discussed. “The provincial governments expressed their support and cooperation in this realm”, the finance ministry said.

The meeting also reviewed the Public Financial Management (PFM) Programme which was being run with the help of the World Bank. It was agreed to constitute a sub-committee and technical committees to review various actionable items in PFM, for which provincial governments will provide the names of their representatives.

Published in Dawn, November 1st, 2018

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