Fair share for provinces

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The Council of Common Interests came into inception in the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973. Prior to March 4, 2010, Cabinet Division was the Secretariat of the Council of Common Interests under the Rules of Business, 1973. In March, 2010, on a proposal of IPC Division, the Prime Minister ordered the transfer of all secretarial work of the Council of Common Interests from Cabinet Division to Inter-Provincial Coordination Division. Article 155 of the Constitution extends the purview of CCI on resolution of a dispute among federation and the federating units or area’s governments regarding their rights on water from any natural source and authorizes the Federal or the Provincial Government concerned to make a complaint to CCI. The Centre on Monday decided to take the provinces on board on issues of royalty on gas, distribution of water and appointment of chairman and members of the Water and Power Development Authority. The decisions were taken at a meeting of the Council of Common Interests chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan. It was attended by chief ministers and Chief Secretaries of four provinces. The meeting approved all conditions of the International Monetary Fund for Extended Fund Facility for Pakistan 2019-22 structural benchmark and performance criteria, including amendment to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority Ordinance 2002. Under the decision, OGRA will be empowered to implement the gas tariff to be set by it. The meeting approved Alternative and Renewable Energy-2019 under which the provinces can make their own projects to meet the growing demand for electricity. Speaking on the occasion Prime Minister Imran Khan said that all provinces would be given their fair share of funds. He said the government would resolve the complexities pertaining to the issue of funds’ allotment. The meeting of Council of Common Interests is a practical proof of Prime Minister’s commitment to take along all the federating units. The Prime Minister directed for gas royalty and judicial distribution of water among provinces and telemetry system which will help ensure judicial distribution of water. The agreement to decide details about uniform education and quality research through mutual consultation is highly welcome. The Council is a platform to debate, deliberate on issues and evolve consensus through consultations so the fruits of decisions taken here could reach the public.

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