Water and Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar.—File photo

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar Wednesday said nobody can usurp provinces share in mineral and natural resources.

The assurance came in response to MNA Syed Zafar Ali Shah's demand to Water and Power Minister to issue a ‘particular statement’ regarding initiation and rights of Thar Coal Project.

“It is categorically stated in the constitution that control over resources and right to formulation of policies rest with the provinces. It is not with the federal government,” the minister said.

“Nobody can usurp the rights of provinces as far as resources are concerned. The federal government has nothing to do with that,” he explained.

Shah had raised the concerns during discussion on Private Power and Infrastructure Board Bill 2011 as he had also sought better drafting of the Bills by the Law Ministry.

He had identified mistake in drafting of two bills as Deputy Speaker National Assembly Faisal Karim Kundi directed the Law Minister Maula Bakhsh Chandio to improve performance of his Ministry.

Being specific to the point raised regarding Thar Coal, Naveed Qamar stated that the project is being governed by Thar Coal Board headed by the Chief Minister Sindh.

He explained that instead of a share of the federal government in oil and gas all other resources are on discretion of the provinces after the 18th amendment.

He said the bill was discussed in detail in the Cabinet, Council of Common Interests, Standing Committees and both the houses of the parliament. Now, it has been returned by the Senate with certain amendments, therefore, now it is in the final shape.

He assured the member to take care of his concerns and said that members of the (PPIB) Board are to be nominated by the provinces.

He also clarified that no hydra power project could be initiated without permission of the concerned province. “We are fully conscious of rights of provinces and are working even harder to give them rights delineated in the constitution,” he added.

Later the House passed the bill failing which it could have been referred to joint sitting of the Parliament.

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