ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday chaired meeting of Council of Common Interests (CCI) and discussed a range of issues relating to power and energy, water, finance and other sectors.
The Statistics Division gave a detailed presentation on the issue of third-party validation of the housing and population census results. It was decided that one percent random sampling of the census data would be enhanced to five percent and every effort would be made to complete the process within the shortest possible time.
LNG import issue deferred to next meeting
The meeting decided that the concerns of the provinces on the import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) would be sent to the concerned ministry, and the issue would be discussed in the next meeting
On the issue of provision of gas to localities falling within five kilometres of gas production fields, it was decided that all expenditures involved would be borne by the distribution companies. However, in Balochistan the government would ensure the provision of gas to the nearest tehsil or district headquarters.
The CCI meeting also acceded to the request of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to grant one-time relaxation for the award of one new exploration block to Provincial Holding Companies (PHC’s) without competitive bidding.
While discussing the issue of net hydel profits, the CCI was informed that the issue of two provinces has been amicably resolved during a meeting with the prime minister.
Monitor load shedding by provinces
The meeting also agreed to real-time monitoring of the electricity production and allocation to distribution companies (DISCO) and duration of load shedding by provinces. A similar mechanism would also be made available for the gas sector.
National Water Policy was also presented during the meeting. It was decided that a committee comprising of representatives from Planning, Water and Energy divisions and provincial representatives be constituted for detailed scrutiny and analysis of the proposed policy.
The meeting decided that the existing Fiscal Coordination Committee constituted under the National Finance Commission (NFC) would be further mandated to ensure better coordination of senior finance division officials from provinces and the federal government on matters relating to fiscal consolidation.
Over the issue of export of surplus sugar, the meeting decided to recommend Economic Coordination Council (ECC) to allow export of 1.5 MMT sugar during FY 2017-18. The existing subsidy level on the exports would continue.
HEC and EOBI in post 18th Amendment scenario
Discussing matters pertaining to Higher Education and other similar bodies in post 18th Constitutional Amendment scenario, the meeting decided to constitute National Task Force on education standards in the country.
The task force would look into the issues related to curriculum, medium of instruction, and would make recommendations for bringing uniformity and improving quality of education across the country.
A sub-committee would also be constituted to resolve issues relating to Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) and Workers Welfare Fund.