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Murad seeks LNG import policy

Updated May 04, 2017

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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has asked Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to circulate draft policies for import of LNG as mandated under Article 158 and Article 172(3) of the constitution.

In a letter, Mr Shah made the demand recalling the federal government app­roval to import LNG without the Council of Common Interest (CCI) endorsement.

The letter, written shortly after the CCI meeting, reads as follows: “Reference to the deliberations in the 31st meeting of CCI on May 2, wherein all the Chief Ministers confirmed the minutes of the meeting held under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Law and Justice on March 3, 2017, yourself very kindly agreed to circulate the policy.”

“The committee made the following decisions: It is, therefore, requested to please share respective summaries for CCI along with draft policies for import of LNG and its utilisation, implementation and Article 158 and Article 172(3) of the Constitution at the earliest prior to its placement before CCI for deliberations,” the letter adds.

All provincial governments asserted that the LNG import is a CCI subject and therefore import policy must be approved by the council meeting.

Article 172(3) says that the concerned provincial government from where oil and gas reserves are discovered would jointly manage its control along with the federal government.

Article 158 of the constitution guarantees the right of a province producing gas to meet its requirement first and then share with other province, if it is in excess.

On flood protection policy, he presented a notification of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto which stated that flood protection was the job of the federal government.

The federal government has prepared a flood protection plan worth Rs177 billion and asking provinces to cover it. It was agreed that the provinces and federal government would share ex­­penditures on a 50:50 basis.

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2017