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> Fiscal Devolution critical for Consolidating Federalism in Pakistan
IGR Workshops
January 29, 2014


January 29; Fiscal devolution is critical for consolidating federation as well as the gains made by the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan, believed experts addressing the second day of the Workshop on Consolidating Democratic Devolution: Inter-Government Relations, Fiscal Management and Accountability, organized by PILDAT and Forum of Federations, Canada.


Speaking at the workshop, Dr. Ikram Ul Haq, Advocate Supreme Court and International Tax Counsel, said that in the fiscal arena, Pakistan presents a story of failure with fiscal deficit increasing; debt burden on the rise; uncontrolled expenses; non-devolvement of fiscal responsibility; low tax to GDP ratio and no providing of universal entitlements by the State. In order to consolidate gains of devolution, provinces have to be aware of their taxation rights. Fiscal empowerment of provinces in real sense is needed by giving them the right to tax goods and services within their boundaries. However, he added, provinces, in turn, must empower elected Local.


Dr. Galina Kurlyandskaya, Center for Fiscal Policy, Russia, speaking on Fiscal Federalism and Accountability in Federal System said decentralization is the basic condition for an accountable Government. For sub-national Governments to be really accountable for their performance and to respond to citizens' opinion, they need to enjoy fiscal powers relating to revenues and spending. Dr. Galina further suggested that Government must be accountable for allocation of intergovernmental transfers and the transfer allocation has to be public, transparent, unbiased and fair.


Earlier presenting the recap of day one of the Workshop, Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director PILDAT highlighted the pertinent points that the Speakers shared with the participants during the first day of the Workshop.


Upon conclusion, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT thanked all the participants of the workshop.


These workshops are part of the project funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development of the Government of Canada.


Following Discussion Papers were also shared among participants as backgrounder on Federalism:
Historical Evolution of Federalism in Pakistan  [English Version]   [Urdu Version]

Inter-Governmental Relations in Pakistan Evolution and Potential with Relation to 18th Amendment  [English Version]   [Urdu Version]

Pakistan Fiscal Management And Accountability [English Version]