ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interest (CCI) has discussed National Water Policy and improved the establishment of National Water Council , which would be headed by Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired the 37th meeting of the at PM’s Secretariat on Tuesday.. Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak, Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, Federal Ministers and senior officials attended the meeting.
Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of Pakistan Sartaj Aziz briefed the CCI on draft National Water Policy (NWP) of Pakistan. He informed that the policy has been prepared after consultation with all major stakeholders and a national level consultative seminar was also held to reach a consensus. Proposals presented in the 36th CCI meeting have also been incorporated in the policy. He further briefed about the salient features of the NWP including water uses and allocation of priorities, integrated planning for development and use of water resources, environmental integrity of the Basin, impact of climate change, trans boundary water sharing, irrigated and rain-fed agriculture, drinking water and sanitation, hydropower, industry, ground water, water rights and obligations, sustainable water infrastructure, water related hazards, quality management, awareness and research, conservation measures, legal framework and capacity building of water sector institutions.
The CCI was briefed that implementation of NWP will be undertaken through a national level body namely “National Water Council” (NWC) to be chaired by the Prime Minister and comprising of Federal Ministers for Water Resources; Finance; Power; Planning Development & Reforms and all Provincial Chief Ministers as members. The NWC shall oversee the implementation of NWP and a Steering Committee, headed by Federal Minister for Water Resources, will monitor the implementation with representatives from Federal and Provincial Governments and concerned departments.
The CCI appreciated the efforts of Planning Commission of Pakistan and the Ministry of Water Resources and unanimously approved the first ever National Water Policy of Pakistan.
The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa presented a brief on implementation of Kazi Committee Methodology (KCM) for calculation of Net Hydel Profits (NHP).
After detailed deliberations, the CCI directed Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination, Planning Commission of Pakistan and Ministry of Water Resources to reconcile the claims in consultation with the provinces and resubmit the issue for decision in the next CCI meeting.
Later, in a simple ceremony, Prime Minister along with four Chief Ministers signed the “Pakistan Water Charter” pledging commitment to the National Water Policy.