ECC okays Rs303bn for PM’s relief package


ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday approved Rs303 billion worth of a supplementary budget to cover the backing cost of a series of populist measures – Rs5 per unit cut in electricity rates, partial payments to the canvas assiduity for a price snap on petroleum products and debt servicing of Naya Pakistan Instruments.

The opinions were taken at a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet which also approved Rs8.28 bn subvention for 19 kitchen particulars for Ramazan Relief Package and Rs3bn for intending overseas Pakistanis to profit from the flagship Kamyab Pakistan Programme.

The meeting was presided over by Fina­nce Minister Shaukat Tarin and attended by only three out of 12 other members of the ECC.

The major supplementary subventions included Rs136bn for Rs5 per unit reduction in electricity rates and Rs20bn first-month investiture of price discriminational claims to the canvas assiduity blazoned by Prime Minister Imran Khan last week. Either, Rs135.078 bn was approved for precious debt servicing of Naya Pakistan Instruments and Islamic Naya Pakistan Instruments. These instruments, part of Roshan Pakistan Account, number up to 7pc return in bone terms or 11pc in rupee.

The ECC approved Rs5 per unit reduction in electricity base rate for the relief period of four months (March to June)”, said an sanctioned statement. The relief package will be applicable to all marketable and domesticnon-ToU consumers having yearly consumption up to 700 units, banning lifeline consumers. The cash inflow demand for this package is Rs136bn, it added.

The summary seen by Dawn showed the government will limit yearly energy cost adaptation (FCA) at Rs3.10 which is presently applicable on all consumers on account of December 2021 consumption. For January consumption, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has formerly finalised Rs5.95 per unit that would remain unimplemented as the Rs3.10 FCA formerly in place would continue to be charged to consumers while the remaining Rs2.85 per unit would be paid out of budget as subvention.

The meeting also approved a summary of the Ministry of Energy for payment of Price Differential Claims (PDCs) of canvas marketing companies (OMCs) and refineries, in line with PM relief package of reduction in the consumer prices of petrol and diesel by Rs10 per litre and circumscribing it at this position for four months.

The price differential would be paid to the OMCs and refineries by the government as a subvention to forestall any deficit in the request. The ECC approved a special disbursement medium to pay the PDC within 15 days, opening of special assignment account with PSO and an original quantum of Rs20bn to PSO in agreement with the medium.

The ECC also approved Kamyab Overseas Programme (KOP) as a new element of Kamyab Pakistan Programme. The new action is meant for prospective low- income overseas workers having verified foreign job offer, employment agreements and valid trip documents and registered with NSER to mileage interest-free loans under KPP. The maximum quantum of loan would be Rs300, and repayable after three months of departure.

The loan will be handed to heirs with estimated needed finances of Rs3bn for Q4FY22.

The ECC also approved proposed emendations in the import and import policy order 2020 for the development of Integrated Tariff Management System for PSW.

It also approved an allocation of 16mfcd of gas from Togh Field to SNGPL.

The ECC approved to amend the separate Petroleum Concession Agreements by allowing GHPL to increase its working interest above its statutory share of2.5 pc being state actor in Wali, Jandran West, Saruna and Pesu blocks of OGDCL.

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