Senate Standing Committee on Water Resources in its meeting has directed WAPDA and provincial irrigation department to work on feasibility for construction of dams in the Pashtun belt of Balochistan to protect the lives and agricultural system of the area. The Committee members noted that due to lack of irrigation system and livelihood opportunities, the people of the area are suffering badly. It was recommended to have work initiated on numerous projects as early as possible and in long term a master plan should be prepared to address the concerns as this area is equally a stakeholder of the country’s resources as other parts but is being ignored.
The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Shamim Afridi here at the Parliament House on Tuesday and was attended among others by Leader of the House Syed Shibli Faraz, Senators Usman Khan Kakar, Syed Sabir Shah, Sana Jamali, Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Adviser to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Energy Himayatullah Khan, Secretary Water Resources, Chairman IRSA, and officials from the ministry. The Committee while discussing the delay in completion of Kachi Kanal and Naulang Dam decided to call Chief Secretary Balochistan, Secretary Irrigation Balochistan, and Secretary Planning Commission to next meeting to get allocation for the remaining work of Kachi Kanal.
The Committee was told by Adviser to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Energy Himayatullah Khan about the delay in payment of royalty on account of electricity generation to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the AGN Kazi formula. It was told that Article 161(2) of the Constitution asks for net profits earned by federal government from bulk generation of power shall be paid to the province in which the hydro-electric station is and the net hydel profit will be determined by Council of Common Interests. The CCI approved the payment formula by a committee under AGN Kazi in 1991 and was endorsed by the Supreme Court as well. The interim arrangement approved in 2016 makes a payment of 20 billion per year while the actual net hydel profit in 120 billion to be paid per year to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 52 billion per year to Punjab. The Committee was told that the CCI has taken up the issue again and the Committee will be informed of its decision after the meeting of the sub-committee to be held tomorrow.