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Nationwide population census from March 15

ISLAMABAD / PESHAWAR: The Council of Common Interests (CCI) on Friday agreed to conduct a nationwide census from March 15.

Those present on the occasion also decided to conduct house-listing with the census. The census will be conducted nationwide in two phases.

The decision was taken in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directives on the initiation of a population headcount from mid March.

The census will be conducted in close coordination with the provincial governments. A committee of the statistics secretary and four chief secretaries will address implementation issues.

Among other things, those present also looked into the establishment of a National Security Fund and decided to refer the matter to the National Finance Commission.

The CCI also granted in principle approval to the National Forest Policy and directed the Climate Change minister to ensure no encroachment was made on provincial powers.

CCI likely to announce March 2017 census date

The National Forest Policy will enable the federal government to provide technical and financial assistance to the provincial governments in line with their own policy framework and help ensure compliance with international conventions.

K-P to take up Fata reforms

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is expected to take up the much-talked about FATA reforms issue in the Council of Common Interest (CCI) meeting.

The K-P chief minister will also raise concerns pertaining to Net Hydel Profit (NHP) at the forum and present the province’s stance on the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) policy and the installation of a Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) power plant in K-P.

An official speaking on the condition of anonymity said Fata departments such as health and education should be completely merged with provincial departments. The Levies and the Khasadar Force, which only exist in Fata, should be brought under K-P police, he added.

Since Fata is set to be merged with the province, every pertinent matter should be discussed with K-P before any decision is taken in this regard, the official said.

The official further said Islamabad has already agreed on tariff determination for NHP while NEPRA had also given a decision in this regard. The issue of NHP arrears and their uncapping had been agreed while a Statutory Regulatory Ordinance (SRO) was also issued by the authority, he said.

The Centre and K-P had also agreed to uncap the NHP at the rate of Rs1.10 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) while K-P’s share in NHP has increased threefold from Rs6 billion to Rs18.7 billion per annum, the official added.

CCI to assuage concerns on CPEC

K-P also wants uniform LPG rates across the country and and has demanded the installation of RLNG plants in the province. Flayer Gas Utilisation Guidelines 2016 and revision of Tight Gas (Exploration and Production) Policy 2011 is also on the cards.

The official also said K-P was in favor of Nepra and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) retaining their autonomous status. The federal government, on the other hand, wants to place the authorities under the Ministry of Water and Power and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural resources.

courtesy : Express Tribune

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