Parliament, provinces under attack, says Sherry Rehman



ISLAMABAD, JUL 13 –  Strongly opposing Senator Saif Ali Khan’s constitutional amendment to amend the NFC in the senate today, Parliamentary leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman in her speech said, “It is the provinces tax collection that is running Pakistan, not the federation which is complaining about “giving away its resources” to the provinces.

This is a backdoor attack on the federation’s unity and stability. Have people not seen the history of the country? Where Pakistan broke because of such attacks on provinces rights?”

She said, “The 1973 constitution, 18th Amendment and this formula have gone through a mature democratic process. Don’t attack the parliament and its constitution this way. These attacks are coming from the treasury bench. When they don’t like the parliamentary system, one speaker asks to undo the social contract between the province and the federation while another says bring in the presidential system”.

“This is Pakistan’s basic social contract which keeps the country and provinces together. This is a federation. One thing keeps us bonded together, and that is our constitution. But now there are efforts to change this which has made their dubious aims clear. We will not allow this,” she added.

“Why the need to extract more money from the provinces? Because they can’t do basic things like even maintain records of tax collection; the record-breaking increase in public debt and liabilities, Rehman said, “The federal Government is staggering in its incompetence and inability to run the country. They are running on unprecedented debt. No government in the past 73 years has taken on additional debt of Rs 619 billion a month, every month. But this government has set a new record, over the past 630 days, the federal government has taken an average of Rs20 billions of additional debt a day, every single day”.

“The provinces are in surplus re tax collection. If you can’t run the federation outsource it to us in Sindh as we are 8% over our targeted tax collection. So are other provinces. It is Islamabad that is repeatedly failing and slipping drastically on every target.,” she added. “We challenge them to talk about this. The NFC has better allot all tax collection to the provinces.”

She said,” The federal government has changed 5 FBR heads in the past 18 months which reflects their gross mismanagement. We are given IMF targets which even they know cannot be met. Now even IMF is saying that the recent budget is not balancing. This has nothing to do with the provinces as they are providing the salaries and running the country financially. I challenge the government to open up the tax collection books and check the records. If the federal government cannot meet their targets then outsource the tax collection to Sindh if they can’t do it. We will deliver above the targets”.

Parliamentary leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman concluded by saying that, “The attack on the NFC award is unacceptable. The incompetence and unprecedented mismanagement of this government is a threat to Pakistan. The provinces are running this country and we will not allow the Federal government to steal from the people”.