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LAHORE: The federal government on Friday accepted the provinces’ stance -- mainly Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh-- that the Council of Common Interest (CCI) was the right forum for discussing matters regarding the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG), pricing, allocation and distribution.

The two provinces have been raising concerns since long over dealing with such issues by the federal government through the respective ministries and the central committees, including the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) and Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), as they were of the view that the CCI was the proper forum alone.

Official sources in the KP energy department claimed that the federal government had accepted the provinces’ stance in a meeting of the CCI’s Committee on LNG, Gas Utilization and Oil and Gas Exploration & Production that was presided over by the federal law minister.

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Mr Shahid Khaqan Abbasi attended the meeting on special invitation. The meeting was also attended by the Sindh’s Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, the Balochistan law minister, advocate generals of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan while the KP was represented by Mr Raziuddin, CEO KPOGCL. “The committee eventually came on one page by accepting the stand of Sindh and KP, supported by Balochistan, to take all the such matters to the CCI,” a senior official from KP who attended the meeting told Dawn.

In the meeting, a committee comprising federal law minister as chairman, all four provincial law ministers, attorney general and all four provincial advocate generals was also constituted to discuss such issues in the CCI.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2017