Pakistan

CCI meeting underway with PM in chair

ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in chair has been underway in Islamabad.

The CCI, a body to reconcile inter-provincial matters and contentious issues between the provinces and with centre, meeting held after one year. The CCI must meet once in 90 days under the constitution.

The government facing the opposition parties criticism of violating the constitution over its reluctance in convening the CCI session.

The CCI meeting being chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and attended by the four chief ministers of the provinces, who have been repeatedly calling for a meeting of the constitutional forum.

The conduct of population census has been on the top of the agenda of the CCI session issued by the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.

The CCI in its last meeting decided that the census would be held in March this year. But the government is facing difficulties in kick-starting the 18-day country-wide exercise, which has been pending since 2008.

The last census was held in 1998 and the next was due in 2008 as under the constitution the exercise should be conducted once in every 10 years.

The inter-provincial body will also discuss corruption probes, the issues related to oil and gas exploration in provinces, the policy of LPG production and distribution will also be submitted for the approval.

Other items on the agenda of the CCI meeting include Nepra’s annual report for 2013-14, the State of Industry Report 2014, formulation of the National Flood Protection Plan-IV (2015-25), pumping of drainage effluent, rationalisation of distribution of water from Hub dam and early completion of Indus Right Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD-III).

The federal government will likely to take chief ministers into confidence about the import of LNG, for which it recently signed an agreement with the Qatari government.

The issue of the import of LNG and the reservations of Sindh over the import could also be discussed in the meeting.

Four Provincial Chief Ministers called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad this morning prior to the meeting of Council of Common Interests. The chief ministers discussed the problems of their respective provinces with the prime minister.

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