ISLAMABAD - The newly-reconstituted Council of Common Interests is set to meet in mid September to review the National Water Policy.
The first CCI meeting of incumbent government is scheduled on September 15 to discuss host of matters regarding the National Water Policy approved by the last government. “Chief ministers of all provinces are formally being conveyed invitation for the first CCI meeting of the new government to thoroughly discuss the National Water Policy,” Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza told The Nation in an exclusive chat.
The former government in the last month of its tenure had approved the first ever National Water Council keeping in view climate change challenges and rapidly-depleting water resources in the country.
The approved NWP caters to water uses, development and use of water resources, irrigated and rain-fed agriculture, drinking water and sanitation-related issues in industry, water rights and obligations, sustainable water infrastructure, water-related hazards and quality management.
Former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had also signed Pakistan Water Charter, pledging commitment to the National Water Policy.
Sindh province had reportedly serious reservations over some of the clauses of the NWP related to the distribution of water.
When contacted, Dr Fehmida Mirza said that the newly-reconstituted CCI would thoroughly discuss the NWP issues. “With consultation, the issue regarding water distribution and other related matters will be resolved amicably,” said the minister.
Meanwhile, sources in the IPC ministry said that the upcoming meeting will also try to find out a solution to address the reservation of Sindh about the distribution of water.
The 37th CCI (last CCI of previous government), while approving the NWP, had also directed Ministry of IPC, Planning Commission and Ministry of Water Resources to reconcile the claims in consultation with the provinces and resubmit the issue for decision in the next CCI meeting.
The CCI was reconstituted in August. The members include 4 chief ministers, Minister IPC Fehmida Mirza and Minister for Finance Asad Umar. The CCI meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Under sub-clause 3 of Article 153, the government is bound to call the council at least once in 3 months. This provision was inserted in the Constitution through the 18th Amendment.