The former Federally Administered Tribal Areas’ three percent allocation in the National Finance Commission award is not proportional to the region’s population strength or development challenges, according to the National Assembly Special Committee on the FATA.
The committee has vowed to accelerate the development of the merged districts and eliminate the hurdles to the region’s structural transformation and good governance, as detailed in a press release for the committee’s second meeting held today (2 September).
The Chairman of the committee, Junaid Akbar, said that the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas’ (FATA) inclusive economic development requires policy coherence and coordination amongst stakeholders at all levels. He added that political party leadership will be taken on board to develop a consensus ‘beyond partisan lines’ on desired reforms and developmental initiatives in the newly merged districts.
The meeting was convened to adopt the terms of reference (TOR) submitted by the sub-committee, which the committee adopted unanimously.
The Chairman remarked that exhaustive TORs would lay a foundation for the committee to ensure that all the commitments made to the people of the region are implemented in letter and spirit.
He explained that the formation of the committee was rooted in the desire to facilitate the social, political, administrative, and economic transformation of the newly merged districts.
It was unanimously recommended that the timely provision of the region’s due share of three percent in the National Finance Commission (NFC) award must be ensured. Several members highlighted that a three percent share in the NFC award is not proportional to the region’s current population strength and development challenges.
It was recommended that the issue of the region’s due share of the NFC award should be taken up in the next meeting and prioritized.
The members regretted that post-merger administrative system of the newly merged districts is a reincarnation of the same old pre-merger system, without any meaningful change or benefit to the region, and they stressed the need to revamp the governance system.
It was also emphasized that the committee should play a leading role in developing and overseeing the region’s developmental plan, and while in close coordination with the provincial and federal government, should ensure that all the spending is in line with the developmental plan.
The TORs also underlined the need for elected representatives to have a greater role in facilitating economic development.
Source: Pro Pakistani