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April 8, 2021

Notifying census-2017 results: CCI to meet on Monday to take final decision

National

April 8, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interests (CCI) on Wednesday decided to hold a virtual meeting on Monday to take a final decision on notifying the census-2017 results. Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the council’s 44th meeting here.

On the issue of import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and implementation of Article 158 and 172(3) of the Constitution, it was decided to constitute a committee comprising the minister for Planning, the minister for Energy and the SAPM for Power and Petroleum to hold consultations with the provinces to evolve a consensus on the way forward in meeting the challenge of dwindling local gas reserves and increasing domestic gas requirements.

The meeting, attended by the four chief ministers and relevant ministers and others, also decided to establish a permanent Secretariat of Council of Common Interests as required under Article 154(3) of the Constitution. This is for the first time that a permanent Secretariat of the CCI is being established to meet the long overdue constitutional requirement.

The forum approved the NEPRA’s Annual Report for 2019-20 and the State of Industry Report 2020. Also, the CCI approved amendment to the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Policy 2012. The implementation report of the previously-taken decisions of the CCI was also presented before the meeting.

As directed by the 43rd meeting of the CCI, the observations of the provinces were incorporated into the NEPRA’s Annual Report 2018-19 and the State of Industry Report 2019 and the reports presented before the meeting were approved. It was decided during the meeting that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) will be the sole standard national organization with regard to higher education in the country. The HEC will strengthen its regional centres for better representation and coordination with the provinces.

To further improve ease of doing business and harmonization of quality and standards across the country, it was decided that provinces will notify harmonized standards set by the Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) by repealing their own standards. It was also agreed that harmonization of standards, standardized labelling and certification marks logo would remain the exclusive domain of the PSQCA. On the issue of distribution of Zakat funds among the provinces/federal areas in wake of the 25th Constitutional Amendment, the meeting, while agreeing on the Zakat Distribution Fund Formula, decided that after the merger of FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Zakat funds for the area, as per the agreed formula, will be transferred to KP for distribution among the deserving people of the merged districts.