ISLAMABAD

As the federal government has failed to resolve differences over matters related to gas with the provinces in the Inter Provincial Coordination Committee (IPCC), therefore now the issue will be referred for resolution to Council of Common Interest (CCI).

In the meeting of the IPCC held last week, the provinces had objected the jurisdiction of Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCE) and Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for granting approval to the matters related to gas, LNG, RLNG based power plants and demanded to refer all such matters to Council of Common Interests (CCI), a source privy to the meeting told The Nation.

The federal government is deciding a number of matters pertaining to Part II of the federal legislative list in Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCE) and Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, which is unconstitutional, the source said. Any matter pertaining to Part II of the federal legislative list of the constitution should have been decided in CCI, the provinces of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa demanded in the pre-CCI meeting of the IPCC.

The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCE) is headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet is headed by Finance Minister.

In the meeting of the Inter Provincial Coordination Committee (IPCC) the provinces of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa raised serious objection on CCE and ECC decisions regarding LNG, installment of three re-liquefied natural gas (RLNG) power plants, issues related to the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), prices of natural gas and allocation of gas.

The provinces were pinning high hopes on the meeting of the IPCC for resolution of the issues with the central government but the forum has failed to achieve any breakthrough, the source said. The federal government representatives were not even ready to listen to our demands, which has disappointed the provinces and therefore they are taking the issue to CCI, the source said.

The Sindh government has also demanded that under article 158 of the constitution they have the first right over the gas produced in the province. According the Sindh demand, the local costumers have the first right to use the gas and the surplus can be transported to other provinces, the source said.

Sindh has also demanded that the decisions taken by the CCE or ECC regarding natural gas, LNG after the 18th Amendment should be declared null and void.

The KP government is also likely to take the federal government decision to install three, 1320 MW each, RLNG based power plants in one province, to CCI. Similarly Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will also take issue of its surplus gas to CCI.