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Provinces unite for joint ownership of resources

Karachi: Parliamentarians of all provinces, showed consternation over the delay by the federal government in implementing the 18th Amendment which is a  “joint ownership rights” over natural gas and oil for the provinces.

PSM privatization is one of the important issues now days. The PSM has suffered losses of more than Rs100 billion in the last 10 years and the government cannot sustain further losses.

Responding to the offer, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah refused to buy the mill, saying it was Centre’s responsibility to run the mill in a smooth way.

The petroleum minister questioned why the Sindh government has failed to generate power from Thar coal. “We have been hearing over the years that the province would soon generate electricity from coal. It has not yet been done. At least, the government should give concrete reasons.”

For their part, the lawmakers blamed the federal government for not implementing the 18th Amendment. “If the then government had recognised the rights of our Bengali brothers and given provincial autonomy to East Pakistan, we would have not lost it,” said Senator Hasil Bizenjo, who belongs to the ruling National Party of Balochistan.

Although the conference, organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Dawood University of Engineering and Technology, was supposed to be attended by all four chief ministers, only Sindh CM Syed Qaim Ali Shah turned up.

The chief minister remarked that many leases for oil and gas exploration sites are pending due to confusion over the issue. “We ask the federal government, especially the prime minister, to expedite the process and accept joint ownership rights over natural resources,” he added.

Senator Afrasiab Khattak of the Awami National Party asked the Centre why it has delayed joint ownership rights for the provincial governments.

“It looks like Islamabad is not willing to devolve powers. The federal government should re-consider its decision,” he suggested.

 

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