ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will chair the first meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI), with water, energy issues figuring high on the agenda along with discussion on launching a national cleanliness drive in the country.
According to the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination, the 39th meeting of the CCI has been scheduled to be held on September 24 in the PM office, adding six new and five old agenda items on the table to be presented by different ministries.
The six new agenda items include: discussion on the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and an amendment to the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Policy 2012 to be presented by the Ministry of Energy, Petroleum Division.
The policy is an attempt to announce an incentive package for oil and gas exploration companies interested in working in the frontier region.
The Petroleum Policy 2012 provides an incentive package for onshore areas on the basis of risk and investment requirements as per the zones.
The Ministry of Energy would take the provinces on board and seek approval for creating one more zone for the onshore exploration of oil to oil and gas exploration companies in the frontier region along with other amendments in the Petroleum Policy 2012.
The second important agenda is harmonisation of standards and enforcement between the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority and provincial food authorities.
Provincial food authorities have been working in isolation but there have not been synchronised with each other including with the federal government. Resultantly it depicts lack of coordination and slow pace of the outcome.
The CCI will discuss to bring all the bodies on the same page for better performance and quality control on food.
The council will also discuss post-devolution issues relating to the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) and the Workers Welfare Fund which is currently under the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.
The EOBI has been rocked with corruption, irregularities and mismanagement and making the headlines for the last several years.
The Ministry of IPC will share details about the countrywide cleanliness drive in the country that will include involvement of provincial chief ministers and ministers of the cabinet, besides senior government officials in the departments concerned.
The formation of two provincial higher education bodies in the wake of 18th Amendment has also created an awkward situation at the federal level as two other provinces — Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan — have already expressed their confidence in the Higher Education Commission (HEC) at the centre.
The issue of funding, check on quality, attestation of degrees and several others are the issues the federal and provincial higher education bodies are bickering over.
The tussle has been at its height between Punjab and federal bodies where the former has been directing vice-chancellors in meetings, events arranged by the HEC.
It is planned that the provinces and federal govt will discuss the issues threadbare. The Ministry of federal education and professional training will present the agenda.
Similarly, an allocation of 1,200 cuses (650.5 MGD) additional water for Karachi City (K-IV project) is also to be presented by the Ministry of Water resources.
While resolution of energy problems of Balochistan will also be discussed including enhancement of absorption energy. Short supplies of water in Pat Feeder and Kirther Canals are also on the agenda.
Likewise, implementation of the Kazi Committee Methodology for calculation of the net hydel profit will be presented by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.
The issue of net-hydel profit is a long-standing issue and federal and provinces especially Sindh has yet to reach an agreement about the issue.
The prime minister is also likely to announce formation of a taskforce to streamline regulatory functions of federal government.