Delay in setting up CCI secretariat irk senate panel


A Senate panel Tuesday expressed concern over continued delay in establishing a permanent secretariat of Council of Common Interests (CCI) in accordance with the 18th Constitutional Amendment.

The Senate Functional Committee on Devolution chaired by Maula Bux Chandio also expressed displeasure over the repeated absence of Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza to brief the panel on the progress so far on the setting up of the permanent secretariat of the CCI.

The committee expressed resentment on the failure to set up a permanent secretariat of the CII as per the 18th Amendment. The committee noted that CCI and Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination have different roles to play and these should not be mixed.

The committee was given the background and current status of the matter of establishment of a permanent secretariat of the CCI by Secretary IPC Akbar Durrani but the members of the committee were of the opinion that the matter in question requires response from the minister, as it is a policy decision.

The committee directed the officials to convey to the minister to attend the next meeting, so that the matter can be constructively addressed.

Committee member Raza Rabbani pointed out if the permanent secretariat of the CCI had been established, the matter of Saudi Arabia’s investment in oil refinery in Gwadar had not been discussed in the federal cabinet.

“The Saudi investment in Gwadar oil refinery is purely a matter of Council of Common Interests, but unfortunately, the successive governments including of the PPP, PML-N and now of the PTI, made no progress to set up the permanent secretariat of the CCI,” he lamented.

The committee also discussed the post-devolution status of the employees of devolved ministries/divisions as a result of the 18th Amendment.

The committee was told by Secretary Establishment Division Dr Ejaz Mir that a total of 4,411 employees were affected as part of the devolution process. Out of these, 3,446 were left with the federal government and others were sent to the respective provincial departments in the devolved areas. At present, only 14 employees have unresolved status and all others have been adjusted.

The committee appreciated the fact that not a single government employee is unemployed in the process of devolution and at the same time called for resolution of all service related issues in the federal and provincial governments relating to the adjusted employees.

The meeting was attended among others by senators including Prof Dr Mehr Taj Roghani, Lt Gen Salahuddin Tirmizi (retd), Mian Raza Rabbani, Shamim Afridi and Sassui Palijo, as well as secretary Establishment Division, secretary Inter-Provincial Coordination and officials from the relevant ministries.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019



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