ISLAMABAD - A meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) has been scheduled to be held on Monday (tomorrow) under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to take up many issues for necessary final approval.

Available copy of the CCI’s agenda disclosed that upcoming CCI meeting would take up the summaries of ministries of Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC), Science and Technology, Cabinet Division and Government of Balochistan.

Details of the agenda has made it loud and clear that the CCI would review the important decisions made earlier by this forum including conduct of census, allocation of water for Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Thar coal project (issue of sovereign guarantee), and implementation of National Energy (Power) Policy particularly concerns of Balochistan. The meeting would take up annual report of the CCI for the year 2013-13, Nepra’s Annual Report 2011-12 & State of Industry Report, 2012 besides recommendations of the meeting of the standing committee of Council of Common Interests. Similarly, the Pakistan Engineering Council (Amendment) Bill 2013 and purchase of up to 20 per cent of the right shares of PPL, OGDCL and SSGCL at their face value under the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan would be tabled in the said meeting.

Official sources in finance ministry told this scribe that meeting of the CCI, scheduled to be held on February 10 under the chairmanship of premier, would take up certain agenda items beside many for necessary final approval. Invitations have been dispatched to the chief ministers of four provinces while ministers for Inter Provincial Coordination, Finance, Revenue, EAD, Statistics & Privatisation, Water & Power and Science and Technology would participate in the meeting as special invitations have also been sent to them. They also told that handing over of all power distributing companies (Discos) to the provincial governments would also be taken up in the meeting. Though some items are not included in the agenda drafted by Senior Joint Secretary (CCI), yet many are likely to be taken up in the meeting, they added.

Available copy of the concept note titled as purchase of up to 20 per cent of the right shares of PPL, OGDCL and SSGCL at their face value under the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan submitted for kind perusal of Prime Minister said that in order to bring the people of Balochistan into main development stream, the federal government announced Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package in 2010. The Package consisting of 40 clauses provides for multifarious incentives in the constitutional, administrative and economic spheres. In terms of clause 27 of the Package, the provincial government has been allowed purchase of up to 20 per cent shares of Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Oil & gas Development Corporation (OGDC) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), when offered in the open market. No tangible progress has so far been achieved for a purposeful realization of the incentives covered under clause 27.

“ By virtue of provisions contained under the aforementioned clause, the government of Balochistan has submitted a summary to the Council of Common Interests for approval for purchase of up to 20 per cent shares of PPL, OGDCL and SSGCL by the government of Balochistan at their face value (instead of open market basis). Once the CCI accords approval in principle, the management of these companies will be approached for settling of allied modalities to avail the incentives,” available document said.

The concept note for the premier has also highlighted the viewpoint of government of Balochistan. The government of Balochistan was of the view that concurrence of the CCI to the aforementioned proposal of Balochistan government would render three-fold benefits to both the province and the federation. According to three-fold benefits, first and foremost, the incentives will cast a positive impact on the federation-province relationship combined with allaying public concerns about the province’s age-old deprivation.

Second, aforementioned incentives would further augment the ongoing efforts of government of Balochistan towards attaining a certain level of fiscal stability and redirecting the resources for social uplift. Third, it will also supplement provincial role in terms of resource sharing of the federal entities operating in Balochistan in the field of oil and gas sectors.