Decisions taken by the Council of Common Interests on 1st June, 2011
Islamabad: The Council of Common Interests (CCI), chaired by the Prime Minister, deliberated upon seven agenda items and took the following decisions
i) For the purpose of harmonization of Agriculture Income Tax which is primarily the responsibility of the Provinces and already levied under provincial laws, the CCI decided to constitute a Committee of the Federal and all the Provincial Governments to develop a uniform approach and reconcile the policy in this regard. It was observed that the Agriculture Income Tax was already levied but the system for collection of the same has to be improved. The improvement in the collection of Agriculture Income Tax by the Provinces would not only help the Provinces to finance their development schemes but also improve the national tax to GDP ratio.
ii) The Council agreed in principle to a proposal of streamlining the revenues of the Federal Regulatory Authorities like OGRA, NEPRA, PEMRA, etc. It was also decided that the suggestions of the Provinces will be subsequently looked into. It was proposed that the amount over and above the budgetary requirements collected by various regulatory authorities in the shape of license fee, penalties and fines will be deposited in the Federal Consolidated Fund. Although the matter did not relate directly to the Provinces yet they would ultimately benefit from this proposal. The relevant legislations of these authorities will accordingly be amended.
iii) In the wake of increased responsibilities of the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, a Draft Amendment Bill 2011 was presented before the CCI which was unanimously approved. The Council was informed that consultations on this account with all the stakeholders in the public and private sectors have been continuing since last five years. It was decided that the Draft Amendment Bill would be presented before the Parliament for approval.
iv) As regards devolution of National Education Foundation and the National Commission for Human Development, it was decided that the budget including salaries of the employees of both the organizations till 30th June, 2011 will be cleared by the Federal Government, while the Chairperson of National Commission for Human Development Dr Nafeesa Shah would hold consultation with the Provinces for further continuation of these entities till any specified time period, to be agreed by the Provinces.
v) As regards allocation of 200 cusec water annually for drinking purposes for Islamabad, it was decided that the Ministry of Water and Power would negotiate with the Sindh Government on proportionate sharing of water according to Water Accord by all the Provinces.
vi) In order to make IRSA financially independent and self-sustaining, it was proposed that a nominal levy of 30 paisa per acre feet at all the Canal Heads and half paisa per electricity watt generated will be charged which would be shared by the Provinces WAPDA and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. The total amount likely to be collected from this source would be Rs 27 Million per year. The proposal was unanimously approved by the Council.
vii) As regards policy guidelines for power generation through small independent power projects, the Council approved the same, in principle, while further details in this regard would be discussed with the Provinces if and when required.
The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Communication Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan, Minister for Science and Technology Mir Changez Khan Jamali, Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Chief Minister Punjab Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mr Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Member of the Implementation Commission Senator Afrasiab Khattak, the four Provincial Chief Secretaries and other senior government officials.
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