Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

Meeting of Council of Common Interest (CCI) asked provinces to submit bankable proposals or documents for establishment of priority Special Economic Zones(SEZs) for early implementation and completetion.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who was chairing 35th meeting of the Council at PM Office on Monday, also directed to give priority to SEZs. Nine SEZs have already approved under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Board of Investment (BOI) briefed the CCI regarding development of Special Economic Zones.
Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervaiz Khattak, Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Punjab Finance Minister Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha attended the meeting. Senior officials from Federal and Provincial Governments were also present.
The meeting also reviewed the implementation status of decisions taken during its meeting held on 24th November, 2017.
Minister for Federal Education & Professional Training briefed the CCI on matters pertaining to Higher Education and other similar bodies in Post-Eighteenth Amendment Scenario.
The CCI noted that as per the Constitution, formulation of standards in institutions for higher education and research, scientific and technical institution is the responsibility of the Federal Government. It was agreed that both the Federal and Provincial Governments would undertake monitoring, evaluation and accreditation of such institutes.
CCI also directed the Federal Ministry of Education to work on a proposal in consultation with all stakeholders for establishment of a national level testing body for unified assessment standards across the country.
To further enhance representation of provinces in Higher Education Commission (HEC), it was decided that among the seven members (prominent educationists) being appointed by the Prime Minister, representation of all the provinces will be ensured. The meeting discussed Gas and Electricity management by the Provinces including generation, transmission and distribution.
The CCI deliberated upon the issue of problems being faced by the Sugarcane growers in timely payments on prescribed rates. Expressing concerns, the Prime Minister directed Ministry of National Food Security to work with provinces for early resolution of the issue.
While discussing Power related issues of Balochistan, the CCI directed Planning Commission and the Power Division to expedite energy projects in the province.
CCI considered and assented to place draft Bill for the Establishment of National Metrology Institute of Pakistan, (NMIP) before the Parliament.
NEPRA presented its Annual Report 2014-15 & State of Industry Report 2015 and Annual Report 2015-16 & State of Industry Report, 2016 before the CCI.

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