ISLAMABAD - The Council of Common Interests (CCI) which met on Wednesday put off release of results relating to 2017 census till a virtual meeting scheduled for April 12 to take the final decision over the lingering issue.

The meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by four Chief Ministers and Federal Ministers, however, decided to establish a permanent secretariat of the CCI as required under the Article 154 (3) of the Constitution.

The CCI’s 44th meeting attended by Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan , Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Muhammad Kamal Khan, Federal Ministers and high authorities, also approved NEPRA’s annual report for 2019-20 and state of industry report 2020.

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 of Minister for Planning, Minister for Energy and special assistant to PM for power and petroleum to hold consultations with the provinces so as to evolve a consensus on the way forward in meeting the challenge of dwindling local gas reserves and increasing domestic gas requirements.

On notifying census-2017 results, it was decided to hold a virtual meeting on Monday to take final decision on the issue, PM office media wing in a Press release said.

The CCI approved amendment in petroleum (exploration and production) policy 2012.

Implementation report of the previously taken decisions of CCI was also presented before the meeting.

In order 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 Pakistan Standard & 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 exclusive domain of PSQCA.

As directed by 43th meeting of the CCI, the observations of the provinces were incorporated into NEPRA’s annual report 2018-19 and state of industry report, 2019 and the reports presented before the meeting were approved.

It was decided during the meeting that Higher Education Commission (HEC) would be the sole standard setting national organization with regards to higher education in the country.

The HEC would strengthen its regional centers for better representation and coordination with the provinces.

On the issue of distribution of Zakat funds to the provinces/federal areas in wake of 25th constitutional amendment, the meeting, while agreeing on Zakat distribution fund formula, decided that after merger of FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Zakat funds for the area, as per agreed formula, would be transferred to KP province for distribution among the deserving people of these merged districts.

Meanwhile, a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan here Wednesday discussed overall law and order situation in the country.

It was attended amongst others by Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri and Law Minister Farogh Naseem.