Amid concerns that the Council of Common Interests (CCI) has not met for over nine months, Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif has called a meeting of the CCI today (Wednesday) at the Prime Minister’s Office in Islamabad.
This was stated by Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada while responding to a call attention notice moved by Syed Naveed Qamar in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
He informed the House that the last meeting of CCI was held on 29th May last year and its scheduled meetings in the past could not be held due to a particular situation in the country and lack of agenda. He, however, said that the meeting will now be held tomorrow at 2:30 pm and all the chief ministers have been requested to ensure their presence. The CCI meeting will discuss matters about the conduct of census in the country as well as gas and electricity problems.
The minister said the CCI will also review implementation of its earlier decisions taken in the previous meetings. It will also discuss amongst other things matters pertaining to allocation of water for Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Pakistan Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill, 2014, Power Generation Policy, 2015, Shale Gas framework and annual report of NEPRA.
Additionally, chief secretaries and federal ministers who are members of the council would also be in attendance.
Earlier this week, PPP leaders criticised the government for the delay in convening the CCI meeting, and accused the rulers of violating Article 153 of the Constitution.
Under sub-clause 3 of Article 153, the Council of Common Interests is required to meet at least once in three months. This provision was inserted in the constitution by means of the 18th Amendment.
The opposition wanted the CCI to take up a number of important national issues including the national census, privatisation of state institutions and the change of route of the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor.
Pakistan Peoples Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement also staged a token walkout from the House over delay in the holding of CCI meeting.