ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination Wednesday asked the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) to obtain a written reply from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) regarding sales tax collection by the federal government and sales tax collection on goods by the provincial governments.
The committee also asked the ministry to furnish before it the FBR reply in the next meeting.
The newly formed Senate panel held its maiden meeting that was presided over by its Chairman Raza Rabbani.
The panel took stock of a letter written by Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah to Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani and Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser wherein the CM Sindh requested chairman Senate and speaker National Assembly to summon a joint session of the Parliament to debate the decision taken by Council of Common Interests (CCI) to approve results of population census 2017 by majority vote.
Federal Minister for IPC Dr Fehmida Mirza categorically conveyed to Rabbani that her ministry had no role to play in this regard since the authority to summon the joint session rested with the speaker National Assembly. However, Rabbani kept insisting that the minister send a ‘soft reminder’ to the speaker National Assembly to expedite the resolution of the matter.
The committee also took up the issue involving water row between the provinces. The Ministry of IPC informed the Senate panel that the matter was not taken up by the CCI in its meeting held on June 17. The committee unanimously decided to take it up this issue in its next meeting and to invite representatives from Punjab and Sindh, top officials from Indus River System Authority (IRSA), Ministry of Water Resources and Ministry of Energy (Power Division).
Speaking at the committee meeting, Dr Mirza said, the concept of Cooperative Federalism “must be practiced to achieve the desired goal of harmony among the federation and provinces.” She stressed the need of strengthening the Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee (IPCC).
The officials of IPC Ministry gave a detailed briefing to the committee on the functions of the ministry of IPC and its allied/attached departments. Taking up the matter of current status and number of meetings held till date of the Intra-Education Ministers Committee (an internal committee of IPC Ministry), the Senate panel was informed that no such meeting had been held “on account of assuming the related role by the Ministry of Federal Education, Professional Training.” The committee was surprised by the fact that there was no such provision in the rules of any federal ministry to coordinate with the provinces bypassing the IPC Ministry. The committee demanded that “such provisions, if any, may be found out from the Rules of Business 1973 and be placed before us for examination.”
Dr Mirza suggested that an ‘exclusive’ meeting of the Senate panel be held to address the issues faced by Pakistan Sports Board. The committee accepted the proposal.
The Senate panel also decided to hold its ‘internal’ meeting to devise a work plan comprising of issues/agendas to be taken up by the committee in the future.
Committee members including Deputy Chairman Senate Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Dr Zarka Suharwardy Taimur, Gurdeep Singh, Muhammad Ayub Afridi, Saeed Ahmed Hashmi, Mushtaq Ahmed, Dr Sikandar Mandhro, Jam Mahtab Hussain Dahar and Rana Maqbool Ahmed as well as senior government officials concerned attended the meeting.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021