Govt mulling over separate status for CCI

ISLAMABAD – PTI’s government is contemplating to give a separate status to the Council of Common Interests to deal with the matter related to the cohesion and coordination among provinces.

The purpose of establishing a permanent independent secretariat of the CCI is to swiftly deal with matters among the provinces.

“The present government has serious intentions for a separate wing for the Council of Common Interests (CCI),” Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Dr Fehminda Mirza exclusively shared with The Nation.

The proper formation of the separate wing would further help resolve the issues on fast track. “This government has credit for holding CCI meeting soon after resuming the charge,” she said, mentioning the council was reconstituted in a fortnight time period.

About the separate wing of CCI, the minister said, the things related to the provinces would be dealt with separately in this wing.

“Overnight change should not be expected from any government, as the ministers in this government are working hard to bring about a positive change as per its promises,” Dr Fehminda Mirza added. She said that work on the separate wing for the CCI will start after giving proper input from all the provinces to jointly work on it.

The previous government had also made an attempt to give permanent status to the CCI by creating its separate unit.

The non-formation of permanent secretariat of CCI, sources in the ministry said, had also created differences within government’s ranks. At that time, they said, an idea was also floated to devolve IPC ministry and form a permanent secretariat of CCI.

The then minister had also moved summaries to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the previous government era to deal with this particular matter.

The prescribed rules and procedure also constitutionally bound for a permanent secretariat of the council. “There shall be a permanent Secretariat of the Council,” says the 3rd clause of rules and procedure of “Secretariat of the Council”.

According to the constitution (Article-154/3) ‘the council must meet at least once in a month and have a permanent secretariat’.

The incumbent government had once met since coming into power. The previous had convened meetings including July 23, 2013, July 31, 2013, February 10, 2014, May 29, 2014, and March 2015 and others. The series of meetings were held when the former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi resumed the charge.

The former Minister for IPC Riaz Pirzada had also expressed on the floor of the upper house of parliament that a summary had been moved for the establishment of a CCI-IPC secretariat but it could not be formed.

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