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In one of his articles for this newspaper noted economist Dr Hafiz Pasha had argued, among other things, that “Clearly, the process of fiscal equalization built into the horizontal sharing formula by the 7th NFC has worked and the two smaller provinces have been transferred revenues in such a way that their budgets are relatively larger than the two bigger provinces in relation to the size of the respective economies.”

To my understanding, however, provinces or federating units constitute an integral part of federal government’s economic policymaking processes. I expect to read his answer to my following question in his upcoming article: Had the federal government taken all the provinces on board when it decided to present a mini-budget in the parliament? The reason behind my question is the fact that law and order and prices of essential commodities are the areas that clearly fall in the jurisdictions of provinces. 17 percent tax on a variety of items through this proposed ‘budget’ will surely cause social unrest in the country.

Zaman Khan (Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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