Sunday, September 6, 2015

18th Amendment implementation : Balochistan CM asks federal govt to hand over Saindak project

 September 06, 2015

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch took a strong stand on the issue of autonomy with reference to the 18th amendment of the constitution, asking the federal government to implement it and handover the control of the Saindak Copper and Gold Project to Balochistan without any delay.

Speaking at a meeting of the Senate Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination, Dr Malik implicitly charged that the federal government was deliberately keeping certain laws vague and said that the 18th amendment had not been promulgated. He said the government was using complete authority as a result of the legal controversy on the Saindak Copper and Gold Project.

“We are unaware that how much gold and copper is being produced and taken away to China by the company,” the chief minister posed a pertinent question to the federal rulers.

Dr Malik said that the federal government should nominate the representatives of Balochistan in Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and other federal corporations on the recommendations of the elected Balochistan government. The bureaucracy should be barred particularly from making such decision without referring the issue to the elected provincial government, he added. The chief minister urged the committee to only recommend those people for jobs in Balochistan, whose credentials are verified from the local government in order to confirm their domicile.

Meanwhile, committee Chairman Mir Kabir Ahmed Shahi said that strong and powerful provinces pose as guarantee for a strong federal government.

“The 18th amendment in the constitution conceded the powers of the provincial governments. The standing committee will recommend the federal government to form a separate Secretariat of Council of Common Interests (CCI) which would demand handing over the Saindak project to Balochistan, bringing amendments of article 172 and insist on paying the gas royalty according to the rules,” he added.

The committee chairman said that the transmission lines from DG Khan to Loralai, and Dadu to Khuzdar could grant 725 megawatts of electricity but they were not providing electricity as per their capacity, adding that both transmission lines did not bring provide relief to the people of the region and the committee would urge the federal government to provide required electricity to Balochistan.

He said at present, Balochistan was only getting 700MW while it needed more than 1,600MW, adding that the province was producing 2,400MW electricity, which is being transmitted to the national grid.

The committee generally complained that non-genuine people are getting the federal jobs, which were fixed or allotted only to Balochistan, through fake domiciles and other frauds. Bogus domiciles of Balochistan are being sold by dubious characters, it was observed in the meeting.

The committee demanded that all such domiciles should be referred back to the Balochistan government for official verification.

The committee strongly recommended that the funds allocated for the universities in Balochistan should be raided substantially. IPC Secretary Ali Kakar briefed the meeting about the quota of employees for Balochistan in the federal government, the 18th amendment and gas royalty payments.

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