Thursday May 28, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court issued a notice to the federal government on Thursday in relation to the re-constitution of the 10th National Finance Commission.
The IHC heard a plea filed by PML-N MNA Khurram Dastgir challenging the new commission, which was earlier finalised by President Arif Alvi.
Barrister Mohsin Shah Nawaz Ranjha and lawyer Omer Gilani appeared before the court in today’s hearing.
During the hearing, Gilani said that Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah has also objected to the decision regarding the 10th NFC.
To which, Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb warned the lawyer to ‘talk on facts and not do speculation’.
“Whatever you cannot resolve on the assembly floor, you bring it here (to courts),” remarked the judge.
The judge warned the lawyer that in case the petition is rejected then an ‘ exemplary fine’ will be imposed.
Justice Aurangzeb further remarked that the case should have been based on the notion that the adviser on finance was made a member without consultation.
Barrister Ranjha also gave his arguments, where he said that it is clearly written in the Constitution that the country will be administered by the elected representatives.
“In the absence of the foreign minister, who will be the convener (of the NFC). The president cannot do this,” said Gilani.
He added that in the Constitution, it does not say anywhere if the adviser to the PM can be a convener instead of the foreign minister.
The court, after hearing the arguments, issued notices to those nominated in the petition.
On May 12, President Dr Arif Alvi has finalised the 10th NFC, according to an official notification issued regarding the composition of the committee that will decide the share of fiscal resources earmarked for provinces.
According to the notification, Federal Finance Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch will serve as an expert for the commission.
Adviser to the PM on Finance and Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, will preside over the commission’s functions in the absence of a finance minister.
In January 2019, an official notification from the Finance Division was issued on the government of Pakistan's decision to reconvene the NFC.