CCI fails to reach consensus on notifying census 2017 results
A meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday failed to reach a consensus on releasing the census-2017 results.
The provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa agreed to notify the census 2017 results, however, Sindh opposed the move and demanded to release the results only after holding a new census.
CM Balochistan sought more time to give a final reply on the issue and it was decided to hold a virtual meeting on Monday to take a final decision on the issue, PM office media wing in a press release said.
The CCI’s 44th meeting attended by Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan, Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Muhammad Kamal Khan, federal ministers and high authorities, also approved NEPRA’s annual report for 2019-20 and state of industry report 2020.
The meeting also decided to establish its permanent secretariat as required under Article 154(3) of the Constitution. This is for the first time that a permanent Secretariat of the CCI has been established to meet the long-overdue Constitutional requirement.
On the issue of import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and implementation of Article 158 and 172(3) of the constitution, it was decided to constitute a committee comprising of minister for planning, minister for energy and special assistant to PM for power and petroleum to hold consultations with the provinces so as to evolve a consensus on the way forward in meeting the challenge of dwindling local gas reserves and increasing domestic gas requirements.
The CCI approved the amendment in petroleum (exploration and production) policy 2012. The implementation report of the previously taken decisions of CCI was also presented before the meeting.
In order to further improve ease of doing business and harmonization of quality and standards across the country, it was decided that provinces will notify harmonized standards set by Pakistan Standard & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) by repealing their own standards.
It was also agreed that harmonization of standards, standardized labelling and certification marks logo would remain the exclusive domain of PSQCA.
As directed by 43rd meeting of the CCI, the observations of the provinces were incorporated into NEPRA’s annual report 2018-19 and state of the industry report, 2019 and the reports presented before the meeting were approved.
NEPRA also told the meeting that Sindh would get additional 3800MW electricity to overcome the load-shedding. CM Balochistan Jam Kamal also demanded the establishment of another power distribution company in the province in the wake of the rising population.
It was decided during the meeting that Higher Education Commission (HEC) would be the sole standard-setting national organization with regards to higher education in the country. The HEC would strengthen its regional centres for better representation and coordination with the provinces.
On the issue of distribution of Zakat funds to the provinces/federal areas in wake of the 25th constitutional amendment, the meeting, while agreeing on the Zakat distribution fund formula, decided that after the merger of FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Zakat funds for the area, as per the agreed formula, would be transferred to KP province for distribution among the deserving people of these merged districts.