ISLAMABAD - The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet was informed on Thursday that Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) has refused to give any exemption in the pubic procurement rules to the government in awarding the contract for construction and retrofitting of LNG terminals.
A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet was held under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar at the Prime Minister’s office. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources submitted a report to the ECC that tendering process for Fast Track Engro Project, and SSGC LPG Retrofit Project would be carried out as per PPRA rules 2004 to ensure transparency without seeking any exemptions for PPRA rules.
The ECC meeting had on July 18 earlier constituted a sub-committee comprising secretary finance and secretary petroleum and natural resources to assess as to whether government can get the PPRA rules exemption for construction of LNG terminals, but PPRA administration told the sub-committee that it is not possible to give any exemption.
The ministry also sought approval from ECC for issuance of tenders by Inter-State Gas Company (ISGC) for the construction of LNG terminals.
The meeting also directed the Ministry of Civil Aviation to put up a comprehensive summary with a plan to reduce the current losses of Rs.3.3 billion per annum being incurred by PIA.
The meeting was informed that oil reserves in the country sit comfortably at 36 days as compared to 23 days of reserves in the corresponding period last year. The improvement has been brought about as a result of government’s decision of clearing circular debt which has provided liquidity to Pakistan State Oil to open letters of credit for import of crude oil. There was however concern shown over the rising trend of prices of crude oil in the international market.
The ECC also deliberated in detail about the recent pressure on prices of essential commodities. Senator Ishaq Dar said that the provincial governments may be asked to keep a check on essential food items so that hoarders and speculators are not allowed to make undue profits.
The meeting was informed that Karachi Stock Exchange index reached 23,437 points, showing 17.7% increase since May 11, 2013. It was also informed that the Business Confidence Index which was -34% last year has now turned positive to 2.0 points which is a clear testimony of the confidence of markets on the economic policies being pursued by the present government. The international banks which were earlier hesitant to extend any loans to Pakistan are now prepared to do business with us, said Senator Ishaq Dar.
The ECC rejected a proposal made by Gilgit Baltistan that foreign funded projects namely 26MW Shagharthang Skardu and 4MW Thack Chilas may be exempted from the conditionality of relending and repayment and that instead Government of Pakistan may pick up the loans of these projects.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Industries and Production, Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sikandar Hayat Bosan, Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Senator Pervaz Rashid, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Science and Technology, Zahid Hamid, Minister of State for Information Technology, Ms Anoosha Rehman Khan and heads of various divisions and departments.