CCI ponders options on major gas shortage in future
The 42nd meeting of Council of Common Interests Thursday reviewed the energy and water share issues among the provinces and also discussed ways to combat possible major gad shortage during 2021-22 winter season.
The CCI also unanimously approved Alternative & Renewable Energy Policy 2019.
Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the 42nd meeting of Council of Common Interests with all the provincial chief ministers and other officials in the attendance.
SAPM for Petroleum gave a detailed presentation to CCI on annual demand and supply situation of gas with special reference to future requirements and dwindling domestic gas reserves.
While presenting gas production, consumption and transmission data from various provinces, it was informed that the country would face a major gas shortage by winter 2021-2022. It was recommended that a national consensus needs to be built for a major push for new exploration and production, conservation of domestic gas and rationalization of price mechanisms to avoid impending crises.
The meeting was informed that the Federal Government is organising a summit of industry experts to discuss various options to meet this impending challenge and requested the provinces for their active participation.
The meeting considered the proposed amendment in the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority Ordinance, 2002, as suggested by the Government of Sindh. The CCI tasked Ministry of Petroleum to explore the possibility of providing the provinces with a suitable mechanism to give their input to the regulatory body.
Chashma Right Bank Canal
The meeting considered the request of Government of Punjab for handing over control of the lower portion of Chashma Right Bank Canal from Ministry of Water Resources to the Government of Punjab.
Agreeing to the proposal, the CCI constituted a committee comprising representatives of IRSA, Government of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to work out modalities and finalise the bilateral agreement between the two provinces in this regard.
NCHD and BECS schools
The CCI deliberated upon the future role and functioning of the National Commission for Human Development and Basic Education Community Schools. It was decided, in principle, to transfer the existing NCHD and BECS schools, teachers and students from the Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training to Education Departments of respective Provinces/Regions. The process will be completed before closing of the current financial year.
The CCI directed that Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training, in consultation with provinces, shall formulate a transition and integration plan which will be presented during the next CCI meeting.
The strategy to Combat Covid-19 was presented before the CCI. The meeting appreciated the strategy adopted by the government to combat the pandemic.
Discussing the issue of sharing of Windfall Levy, it was decided that fifty per cent (50%) share of the receipts, collected under the head Windfall Levy on Crude oil, condensate & natural gas under Petroleum Policy, 2012, will be shared with the concerned province.
The meeting approved placement of Annual Reports for the Years 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 before the Senate and National Assembly. Implementation status of decisions of the 41st meeting of CCI was reviewed during the meeting.
Water Accord 1991
Discussing recommendations of Attorney General for Pakistan on Water Accord 1991, the CCI was informed that a committee comprising technical experts of federal and provincial governments has been notified to look into the issue of fair distribution of water among provinces. The CCI directed the committee to complete its work in one month.
The meeting was also apprised about the progress on installation of Telemetry System.