Interview with Dr. Asad Sayeed
Q1. Why are NFC Awards important (Given Constitution requires it to be set up every five years), and why have we not been able to act upon the constitutional requirement, why cant we have a permanent secretariat under the CCI?
The NFC is an outcome of Article 160 of the Constitution and is purely related to distribution of revenues across different federating units. The unique feature of the NFC is that it is a consensus based forum. Whenever consensus is not achieved across the federal government and the federating units, there is a deadlock. Prior to the 7 th NFC, deadlocks happened mainly because Punjab would refuse to budge from the single criterion of population in the distribution of resources horizontally. In the 8 th and 9 th Award tenures, the deadlock was because the Federal government wishes to reverse the vertical share of the provincial governments. The 7 th NFC however demonstrated that when all protagonists are flexible and willing to find an acceptable middle ground, a consensus can emerge. NFC does need a secretariat and a research wing. That is something that was on the agenda of the 9 th NFC before the process was stalled. The CCI is a different forum governed by Article 153 and 154 of the Constitution and mandated to resolve a range of other economic and non-economic issues mentioned across the federating units as mentioned in Part II of the Federal Legislative List. . As such, they are entirely different fora.