Islamabad: The Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday while presiding over the 37th meeting of Council of Common Interest(CCI) has unanimously approved the first-ever National Water Policy (NWP) of Pakistan. The chief ministers of the four provinces and senior officials attended the meeting in which Sartaj Aziz, the deputy chairman of Planning Commission of Pakistan, briefed the CCI on the draft of the policy.
Aziz said the policy has been prepared after consultation with all major stakeholders and a national level seminar was also held to reach a consensus. Proposals presented in the 36th CCI meeting have also been incorporated in the policy, he added.
Salient features of National Water Policy
Water use and allocation on priority
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 and industry uses
Ground water resources
Water rights and obligations
Sustainable water infrastructure
Water related hazards
Awareness and research
Legal framework and capacity building of water sector institutions
During the meeting, the CCI was briefed about the 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 federal ministers for water resources; finance; power; planning development and reforms and all provincial chief ministers as members. In the meeting, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government presented a brief on implementation of Kazi Committee Methodology (KCM) for calculation of Net Hydel Profits (NHP).
After deliberation, the CCI directed the 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, the prime minister along with the four chief ministers signed the Pakistan Water Charter pledging commitment to the National Water Policy