ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday decided to establish its permanent secretariat as required under Article 154(3) of the Constitution.
The decision was taken to meet the long overdue constitutional requirement.
The CCI’s 44th meeting attended by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Muhammad Kamal Khan, federal ministers and high authorities also approved NEPRA’s annual report for 2019-20 and state of industry report 2020.
On the issue of import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and implementation of articles 158 and 172(3) of the Constitution, it was decided to constitute a committee comprising of ministers for planning and energy, and special assistant to prime minister on 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.
On notifying census 2017 results, it was decided to hold a virtual meeting on Monday to take final decision on the issue.
The CCI approved amendments in the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Policy 2012.
Implementation report of the previously taken decisions of the 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 the provinces would notify harmonized standards set by the Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) by repealing their own standards.
It was also agreed that harmonization of standards, standardized labeling and logo marks certification would remain exclusive domain of the PSQCA.
As directed by 43th meeting of the CCI, the observations of the provinces were incorporated into NEPRA’s annual report 2018-19 and state of industry report, 2019 and the reports presented before the meeting were approved.
It was decided during the meeting that the Higher Education Commission would be the sole standard setting national organization with regards to higher education in the country. The HEC would strengthen its regional centers for better representation and coordination with the provinces.
On the issue of distribution of Zakat funds to the provinces/federal areas in wake of 25th constitutional amendment, the meeting, while agreeing on Zakat distribution fund formula, decided that after merger of the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Area into the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Zakat funds for the areas, as per agreed formula, would be transferred to the province for distribution among the deserving people of the merged districts.