ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday said with the government having no intention to do away with the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the situation arising out of the coronavirus outbreak, however, required its review through consultation among the Center, provinces and political forces.
He expressed these views while talking to media persons here at the Parliament House after attending the fourth meeting of parliamentary committee on the coronavirus.
The foreign minister said though the importance of 18th Amendment vis a vis the provincial autonomy could not be denied, yet there was a need to see whether its objectives were achieved.
He said if the provinces’ practice of looking towards the Center despite getting enhanced share in national resources after devolution of power through the 18th Amendment continued, then there was a need to sit together and review the situation.
The foreign minister said the provinces got various incentives from the Center under the 18th Amendment but did not pass on the same to lower levels.
He said that as the Center only got resources for current expenditures, debt servicing and defence under the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award after 18th Amendment, all the stakeholders should sit together to discuss and review the distribution of resources before a new NFC Award.
Earlier while speaking in the meeting of parliamentary committee on the coronavirus, the minister said there was no problem between the Federal and Sindh governments except the difference of opinion on the issue of lockdown.
He said despite a general impression that there was an effective lockdown in Karachi, the number of coronavirus cases in the provincial metropolis was increasing.
The committee also unanimously approved a resolution demanding immediate release of the traders arrested in Karachi on Sunday.