Pakistan has introduced seven National Finance Commission (NFC) awards for the distribution of revenue between the center and provinces since 1975. The author, Mohammad Ali Zafar, argues that while the 7th NFC Award has increased the share of the provinces in the divisible pool, it has also raised concerns for the center, especially when it comes to debt servicing and defense. Moreover, since the provinces of Pakistan have been, somewhat, unable to generate provincial revenues as per their capacity, they have remained financially dependent on the center.
Pakistan’s fluctuating economy has witnessed an alarming downturn after the brutal second wave of Covid-19. The poverty rate was predicted to increase to a whopping 58.6% (from the pre-Covid 23.4%) in the case of a high impact scenario. With a third wave currently gripping the state, the author believes that the government’s policies can either improve the economic situation of the country – or make it much worse.