ISLAMABAD - The federal government has virtually sidelined the Ministry of Climate Change and has even failed so far to appoint chairperson of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Climate Change , The Nation has learnt.

The federal government allocated merely Rs39 million in PSDP 2015-16 for the Ministry of Climate Change and rejected the ministry's long list of projects. The ministry had demanded over Rs1,000 million for 24 projects, including its two ongoing projects. However, the government approved only three projects of the Ministry of Climate Change in PSDP 2015-16.

Sources in the ministry informed The Nation that the government had converted the Climate Change Division into the Ministry in January 2015 and appointed Senator Mushahidullah Khan as federal minister. "After taking oath,

Senator Mushahidullah Khan had shown serious concerns over the performance of the ministry and decided to activate it aimed at overcoming the issues related to climate change in Pakistan. But the recent situation and non-serious attitude of federal government has put cold water over the dedication and efforts of the federal minister for resolving the climate change issues," sources added.

They said that the NA speaker also constituted a Standing Committee on Climate Change and appointed 13 members of the committee but the post of chairperson is still vacant. They the committee meeting cannot be held till the appointment of its chairperson.

Talking to The Nation a member of committee and PPP MNA Imran Zafar Laghari expressed his concerns over the government's attitude toward resolving the problems of climate change in the country.

He revealed that he requested Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq to appoint the chairperson of the standing committee in last National Assembly session but he did not take it serious.

He mentioned the entire world has focused its attention on environmental issues but unfortunately the present government has ignored this ministry from day one.

He said that he would take up the issue of low allocation of funds in budget and he would also ask the minister about the hurdles in implementation of first approved climate change policy.