Islamabad August 12 2021: A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination was held under the chairmanship of Senator Mian Raza Rabbani. In addition, Minister for Inter-Provincial coordination, Dr. Fehmina Mirza also attended the meeting.
The Committee decided that a sub-committee shall be constituted in order to review and provide observations on the pending decisions before the Council of Common Interest (CCI). The Sub-committee shall submit its report to the main Committee within twenty-working days.
The Committee directed the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination to share the draft “National Sports Policy” for the input, and that in-camera meeting shall be conducted to review and discuss the policy in detail.
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The Committee decided that in the next meeting another sub-committee shall be constituted and mandated to invite all three (3) Federal Sports Organizations including Pakistan Olympics Association (POA) in order to understand their working and functions as well as to review their Constitution under which these have been established. The Sub-committee shall submit its report to the main Committee.
The Committee decided to invite Pakistani athletes who participated in the Tokyo Olympics 2021 in the Javelin throw and weight lifting competitions in its next meeting in order to honour them. Therefore in the next meeting Mr. Arshad Nadeem and Mr. Talha Talib shall be invited by the Committee.
At the start of the meeting, the Chair welcomed all the participants, Minister In-charge and relevant staff present then took up agenda wise points.
Compliance Report of the recommendations made by the committee in its meeting held on 30th June, 2021 was considered.
The Chair directed to constitute a three member sub-committee comprising of Senator Mustaq Ahmad Khan, Senator Sikandar Mandhro and Senator Rana Maqbool to take up the pending decisions of the CCI. The chairman also directed that a one month’s time is given to the committee to close the pending matters of the ICC, preferably before the next meeting, he added. A detailed Briefing on Pakistan Sports Board was received by the committee.
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The Director General of the Pakistan Sports Board apprised the committee on the composition and functions of the board. The committee was informed that previously the panel comprised of 29 members, which have now been reduced to 11 members, while an executive committee has five members.
Senator Rana Maqbool raised the question regarding the composition of the board members and their selection criteria. The Minister IPC (Inter-provincial coordination) apprised the committee that the board members were selected based on their association and familiarity with the sports keeping in view the expertise required to excel in the field, with representations from the Federal Bodies, Pakistan Olympics Association, PSB, HEC and NESPA etc. keeping in view the expertise required to excel in the field.
The Ministry informed the committee that the Pakistan Olympics Association, National Sports Federation and Pakistan Sports Board, requires uniformity in order to smoothly run the affairs of the Ministry. The Minister underlined that PSB was restructured, and only relevant departments were attached to it, especially the Pakistan Football Federation, Athletic Federation of Pakistan and Services Sports Board. The IPC Ministry apprised the committee that the PSB was a state of the art entity and that the Chinese technologist designed its infrastructure. However, the Minister lamented the pathetic condition of the Pakistan Sports Board. She said that the toilets, rooms, building, interior are in devastating condition.
The committee was informed that in the year 2021-21 a development budget of PKR 130.828 Million was utilized out of the allocated budget of PKR 929.429 million. And the non-development budget of PKR 55.131 Million was utilized out of the allocated budget of PKR 1015.550. The members of the committee raised question on the non-utilization of the allocated budget to which the ministry replied that the department which got devolved, the employees were inducted to the PSB, moreover not only officers from Grade 1-5 but officers till Grade 16 were appointed on daily wages, which contributed to the non-utilization of the budget .
The Minister Inter-Provincial Coordination also highlighted the leakage of gas which was a severe threat to the security of the hostels. She added that with the appointment of the director PSB, the issue of gas leakage got resolved. The Minister further added that the ministry was previously paying a gas bill of 40 lac rupees, which after the resolution of the problem came down to 9 lac rupees. Senator Rana Maqbool called for an investigation to probe the matter of gas leakage, track down the responsible, and held the culprit accountable for their wrongdoings.
Senator Zarqa Suhrawardi said that the role of youth in sports is of great significance. If we want to indulge our youth in sports, necessary equipment and resources must be provided to them, she reiterated. Senator Afran Siddique endorsing the point raised by Senator Zarqa added that the sports players are ambassadors of the country and the responsibility to foil the efforts that create a false image of the country fell on the shoulders of sportsmen.
Senator Mushtaq Ahmad marked that 70% of our country’s population is from ages 0-29yrs. He added that a budget of 1 billion rupees is even less if it is to be utilized in the field of sports.
The committee unanimously was of the view that measures should be taken for the evolution of sports.
Committee also gave directions to invite Pakistani athletes who participated in the Tokyo Olympics 2021 in the Javelin throw and weight lifting competitions in order to honour them. Therefore in the next meeting Mr. Arshad Nadeem and Mr. Talha Talib shall be invited by the Committee.
The Committee has also invited the Pakistan Olympics Association (POA) for a briefing on the functioning of the association and performance in Olympics 2021.
The committee was attended by Deputy Chairman, Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Senator Dr. Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur, Gurdeep Singh, Muhammad Ayub, Saeed Ahmed Hashmi, Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, Dr. Sikandar Mandro, Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar, Irfan-ul-Haq Siddiqui, and Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed. Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination, secretary Ministry of inter Provincial Coordination and Director General, Pakistan Sports Board and Senior Official of the attached department were also in attendance.