Two landmark events in 2010 – the 18th Constitutional Amendment and the 7th National Finance Commission Award – enlarged the scope of provincial autonomy, but at the same time, transferred a large component of governance and development responsibilities to the provinces. The political leadership of Balochistan was cognizant of this fact and, consequently, the Chief Minister appointed a Consultant for Economic Affairs to the Government of Balochistan and set up the Chief Minister’s Policy Reform Unit (CMPRU) in October 2013 – with the purpose of providing expert advisory assistance to the Chief Minister and the Cabinet, to legislators, and to government departments.
CMPRU is staffed by professionally qualified personnel, drawn from across the province, with internationally qualified and experienced leadership. It has, over the course of over one year, taken up matters in two broad areas. One, matters arising from the 18th Amendment; in particular, matters relating to oil and gas, which under Article 172(3) of the Constitution are now a “joint and equal” federal-provincial subject. And two, matters relating to drawing up a research-based development vision and strategy for Balochistan. In this respect, it has prepared policy papers relating to legislation, provincial finances, education, and a GIS-based template of Union Council-wise mapping of villages, along with road and waterway networks. It has also provided direct inputs to the Departments of Planning & Development, Law, and Local Government.
CMPRU functions under the overall direction of the Chief Minister in a very interactive manner, drawing upon the knowledge and experience of the Administrative Departments and policy guidance from Ministers and key legislators. It puts forward its ideas and proposals in a series of presentations to the Chief Minister, Ministers, Administrative Secretaries, MPAs – including women MPAs – and political party leaders and incorporates their comments, criticisms and suggestions into its proposals and plans.