ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interests on Thursday ratified the Alternative and Renewable Energy Policy 2019, which the Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Asad Umar, said will unleash Pakistan's full potential of renewable energy.
The minister claimed that with the policy, the country would see the "highest ever growth of renewable energy".
The 42nd session of CCI with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, considered the proposed amendment in the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority Ordinance, 2002, as suggested by the Sindh government. The CCI tasked the Ministry of Petroleum to mull over the possibility of providing the provinces with a suitable mechanism to give their input to the regulatory body.
Special Assistant to PM for Petroleum, Nadeem Babar, gave a detailed presentation to CCI on annual demand and supply situation of gas with special reference to future requirements and dwindling domestic gas reserves.
While presenting gas production, consumption, and transmission data from various provinces, it was informed that the country would face a major gas shortage by winter 2021-2022.
It was recommended that a national consensus needs to be built for a major push for new exploration and production, conservation of domestic gas, and rationalisation of price mechanisms to avoid impending crises.
The meeting was informed that the federal government is organising a summit of industry experts to discuss various options to meet this impending challenge and requested the provinces for their active participation.
The meeting considered the request of Punjab government for handing over control of the lower portion of Chashma Right Bank Canal from the Ministry of Water Resources to the Punjab government.
Agreeing to the proposal, the CCI constituted a committee comprising of representatives of Indus River System Authority (IRSA), Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments to work out modalities and finalise the bilateral agreement between the two provinces in this regard.
The CCI deliberated upon the future role and functioning of the National Commission for Human Development and Basic Education Community Schools.
It was decided, in principle, to transfer the existing NCHD and BECS schools, teachers, and students from the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training to Education Departments of respective provinces/regions.
The process will be completed before the conclusion of the current financial year. The CCI directed that the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, in consultation with provinces, shall formulate a transition and integration plan which will be presented during the next CCI meeting.
The strategy to combat COVID-19 was presented before CCI. The meeting appreciated the strategy adopted by the government to combat the pandemic.
Discussing the issue of sharing of Windfall Levy, it was decided that 50% share of the receipts, collected under the head Windfall Levy on crude oil, condensate, and natural gas under Petroleum Policy, 2012, will be shared with the concerned province.
The meeting approved placement of Annual Reports for the Years 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 before the Senate and National Assembly.
Implementation status of decisions of the 41st meeting of CCI was reviewed during the meeting.
Discussing recommendations of the Attorney General for Pakistan on Water Accord 1991, the CCI was informed that a committee comprising of technical experts of federal and provincial governments has been notified to look into the issue of fair distribution of water among provinces. The CCI directed the committee to complete its work in one month.
The meeting was also apprised about the progress on the installation of the Telemetry System.
The meeting was attended by all four chief ministers.
During the last meeting of the CCI, PM Imran had said all provinces — Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Punjab — would be given their fair share of the money.
The premier had also said the government would resolve the complexities relating to the issue of funds' allotment among provinces.
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