ISLAMABAD - The Council of Common Interests (CCI) yesterday unanimously approved the controversial ‘Alternative & Renewable Energy (ARE) Policy 2019’, which will help generate clean and affordable energy.
The CCI meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, deliberated upon a nine-point agenda related to controversial matters among the provinces. The ‘Alternative & Renewable Energy Policy 2019’ was earlier dropped twice from the CCI agenda due to the disagreement between provinces over the clauses of ARE policy 2019’.
Chief Minister Sindh Murad Saeed had also written a letter to the Prime Minister not to take unilateral decisions.
The federal government has recently removed the reservations to approve it unanimously from the CCI. The Alternative & Renewable Energy Policy is believed to lower the prices of natural gas and coal by increasing competition and diversifying our energy supplies.
About the gas production, consumption and transmission data from various provinces, the meeting was informed that the country would face major gas shortage by winter 2021.
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 rationalization of price mechanisms to avoid impending crises.
The meeting also considered the proposed amendments in the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority Ordinance, 2002, as suggested by the government of Sindh.
Country to face major gas shortage by winter 2021
It was decided in the meeting to task the Ministry of Petroleum to explore the possibility of providing the provinces with a suitable mechanism to give their input to the regulatory body.
The members also considered requesting the government of Punjab for handing over the control of lower portion of Chashma Right Bank Canal from the Ministry of Water Resources to the Punjab government.
Agreeing to the proposal, the CCI formed a committee comprising representatives of IRSA, Governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to work out modalities and finalize bilateral agreement between the two provinces in this regard.
The meeting also discussed in length the future role and functioning of 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 Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training to Education Departments of respective Provinces/Regions.
The meeting also directed that the Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training, in consultation with provinces, shall formulate a transition and integration plan which will be presented during the next CCI meeting.
About the issue of sharing of Windfall Levy, it was decided that 50 percent share of the receipts 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.
Discussing recommendations of Attorney General for Pakistan on Water Accord 1991, the CCI was informed that a committee comprising 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.