The Senate Functional Committee on Devolution in its meeting on Monday sought a briefing from the ministries on issues that had arisen after the 18th Constitutional Amendment after the devolution of certain subjects to the provinces.
The meeting, chaired by Senator Taj Haider, received a briefing on the cooperation between the government and the committee. Special Secretary Cabinet Division Aizaz Dar gave this briefing.
He told the committee that the Cabinet Division had no longer any authority regarding the devolution process.
During the meeting, Senator Haider pointed out that 30% of gas wasted in the pipelines. While there was a gas crisis in the country. Similarly, he said, there was a water crisis and renewable energy issues, besides the shortage of oil and gas. But, he added, no exploration was taking place in the country.
The Cabinet Division special secretary informed the committee that some ministries came into being after the 18th Amendment. He added that the Cabinet Division had no longer any authority regarding devolution. “Now, we have nothing to do with this matter,” he said.
Deputy Senate Chairman Mirza Muhammad Afridi told the committee that expenses incurred by ministries had to be curtailed. He said that a secretary had refused scholarships to students from former tribal areas. He further added that if education was a provincial subject, these things should get into consideration.
Senator Mohammad Akram said that minerals were a provincial subject. But even after the 18th Amendment, the provinces got no authority over the subject. He stressed the need for the Centre’s coordination with provinces on matters related to health, education, and tourism.
Senator Mohammad Akram stressed the need for a separate ministry for coordination between the provinces and the Federation. The committee decided to take a briefing on two ministries at its next meeting.