Lahore – The government on Tuesday reconstituted the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCE) under the chairmanship of Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan.
The CCE was created by the PML-N government to expedite decision-making and speedy implementation of energy sector projects in view of severe energy challenges. The committee was used to be headed by the then prime minister.
The six-member committee would comprise Minister for Finance Asad Umar, Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and PM’s adviser on Commerce and Textile Abdul Razak Dawood.
Officials said the Cabinet Division had moved a summary to the prime minister seeking his approval to head four major cabinet committees, which included those on energy, restructuring, privatisation, and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. However, the prime minister rejected the summary and delegated the leadership role of these committees to ministers concerned.
An official said the prime minister believed there was no point in taking decisions first at the level of cabinet committees by him and then endorsing these decisions again at the federal cabinet.
Instead, he believed the relevant ministers should delve into specific issues and come up with a considered viewpoint of the ministerial committee for the federal cabinet under the prime minister to take a final decision as required under the rules of business.
There are no set standards and rules directing who should head sub-committees of the cabinet. Different prime ministers have made varying decisions in the past. Under the Rules of Business 1973, however, it was the prime minister’s prerogative to appoint as many committees of the cabinet as he or she desired and to assign any subcommittee of the cabinet to anyone of their cabinet colleagues.
The terms of reference of the CCE would remain unchanged. It is required to ensure smooth implementation of energy projects currently underway or in the pipeline, particularly those falling under the umbrella of CPEC well within stipulated timelines.
The CCE is also responsible to identify and remove bottlenecks in the expeditious implementation of these projects besides finding out flaws and deficiencies of the existing legal and institutional framework governing the energy sector and formulate reform initiatives.
The committee is also required to review current energy policy, remove its bottlenecks and conduct inter-ministerial coordination whenever required but at least once every fortnight.