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Plan for grants to LGs

The Punjab government has decided to transfer grants to the local governments on the basis of Provincial Financial Commission Award (PFC).

In this regard, a meeting of interim committee regarding approval of Interim Provincial Financial Commission for local governments was held here Thursday which was presided over by Provincial Minister for Finance Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha.

Member Punjab Assembly Muhammad Ahmed Khan, Secretary Finance Sheikh Hamid Yaqoob, Special Secretary Finance Saifullah Dogar, Senior Adviser PFM Faisal Rasheed, Secretary Local Government Aslam Kamboh, Secretary Health Ali Daan, President Akhuwat Foundation Dr Amjad Saqib, Secretary Law, Member Planning and Development, Member School Education besides all officers concerned attended the meeting.

Dr Ayesha informed the meeting that the Punjab government had decided to transfer grants on the basis of Provincial Financial Commission Award (PFC) under section (3) 153 (a) of Punjab Local Government Act 2013 for activating local governments and providing funds. An interim committee was constituted in which representation was given to public representatives, government officers and technical members, she added. She said a technical group was set up for the constitution of interim PFC Award in consultation with interim committee in which opinions of officers of Finance Department besides senior consultants of international level were included.

She told the meeting that technical committee in consultation with departments concerned had prepared its recommendations for interim finance commission under which funds would be distributed to local governments on the basis of their financial needs. The formula of distribution of resources among the districts in education sector will be prepared on the basis of population, number of school going and out-of-school children and enrolment of girls for secondary education, she added.

She said that funds would be distributed to health authorities according to the formula of ratio of population of the persons of below nine years and more than 65 years age, 15 to 49 years old women and the rate of poverty as children, elderly persons and the women need more treatment. Recommendations were also presented in the interim award regarding substantial increase in development and non-development funds of union councils, municipal committees, municipal corporations and district councils which were unanimously approved by the meeting. The minister told the committee members that the resources of South Punjab under the formula award recommended by the committee would increase substantially and aim of this step was provision of education, health and other basic needs in the region. Senior consultant SNG programme Faisal Rasheed told the meeting that facts and figures of 1998 census and MICS 2014 were used for preparing the recommendations of interim award.

The meeting decided that local governments would be empowered for increasing their resources.

Source: The News

Byline: Reporter

December 9, 2016

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