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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Friday that the federal government had so far given Rs270 billion for the development of erstwhile federally-administered tribal areas (Fata).

Responding to a calling attention notice regarding non-allocation of additional three percent of National Finance Commission (NFC) award to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa for the uplift of erstwhile Fata, Zain Qureshi, the parliamentary secretary for finance, said Rs97.6 billion has been released in 2019-20, while Rs121.1 billion in 2020-21 for the development of erstwhile FATA.

During the current fiscal year, he added, the government had allocated Rs129.7 billion, of which about Rs51.5 billion had already been released for the uplift of areas. He said Rs129.7 billion allocated for the current financial year stood four percent to the divisible pool.

To a question, he said that during the last meeting, the federal cabinet had requested the NFC to take up the issue of giving three percent to erstwhile Fata, and on the request of the cabinet, the issue was included in the agenda.

He said the NFC had constituted a sub-group under the supervision of the finance minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to look into the matter, adding it had also been decided that till the decision of the NFC, the federal government would provide funds for development of erstwhile Fata.

He said the 8th and 9th NFC Awards had so far not been announced, while work on the 10th NFC Award was under way and all the provinces should contribute their share for the development of tribal districts.

The chair referred the matter to the concerned standing committee for further deliberation and report back to the house. During the discussion, the opposition benches pointed out the quorum and after counting it was found that the house was not in order, leaving the chair with no option but to adjourn the house till Monday at 4pm.

The house did not consider legislative agenda including two ordinances and one government bill. Moreover, five motions for consideration of as many bills in the joint sitting of the parliament, a calling attention notice and a motion of thanks to the president remained unaddressed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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