ECC okays fortnightly revision of POL prices

ISLAMABAD - Keeping in view the sufficient sugar stocks in the country, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet decided on Tuesday to allow the commodity export of 400,000 tones apart from deciding to fix petroleum products prices twice a month.The ECC meeting, chaired by Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, decided to change the petroleum products prices after 15 days in order to pass on the impact of decreasing international oil prices to the masses. The ECC in its earlier meeting had constituted committee comprising Minister for Water and Power (Convener), Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources (Member) and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission (Member) to thoroughly re-examine the subject matter and submit a summary in the ECC meeting along with its recommendations. The committee reviewed the issue in detail and recommended to approve the proposal of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to notify the prices of petroleum product on fortnightly basis.ECC had a detailed discussion on the summary moved by Ministry of Water and Power in which Ministry had sought approval of Sub Committee’s report on the delay of payments by the power purchasers to IPPs under power policy 2002. The chairman, ECC and the members of ECC was of the view that Ministry of Water and Power should further improve the terms of settlement of the dues with IPPs and submit a report in this regard to the ECC.  The ECC allowed the export of 4 lakh tones of sugar in two phases. The ECC has taken this decision after getting the insight from Ministry of Industries, TCP and other members of the committee, and was convinced that there is satisfactory situation of sugar stocks in the country. Meanwhile, the ECC constituted a committee comprising Minister for Water and Power, Information Technology, Secretaries Petroleum and Law, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission and representatives from OGRA and Finance Division to look into the summary for import of LNG, moved by Ministry of Petroleum.The ECC also approved the summary moved by External Finance Wing of Ministry of Finance for the Ex-Post Facto approval for establishment of a subsidiary in Tajikistan, a request by National Bank of Pakistan in which it was solicited for ECC permission to allow investment abroad by resident Pakistanis to remit the Tajik Somoni 50 million (approximately equivalent to $ 10.5 million) to establish its subsidiary, NBP in Tajikistan. While discussing the allocation of gas at Wellhead of OGDCL Dormant Field, the Chairman of ECC directed the concerned Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to coordinate with Government of Sindh for getting formal approval from the latter in this regard. The summary sought the ECC approval for allocation of gas from OGDCL dormant fields situated in Sindh.Tariff protection to the industry manufacturing Electrolytic Tinplate was also approved by the ECC, however, the Chairman directed the officials concerned of Ministry of Commerce to prepare a summary for strengthening the National Tariff Commission (NTC) and to decide the time of implementation of tariff protection to industry.ECC also approved enhancement of exploration expenditures limit of $20 million to $40 million for Mari Gas Company Limited, which was sought by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources.While approving the summary of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for acquisition of MND Exploration and Production Limited assets in Pakistan and Yemen through purchase of shares, the ECC instructed the Ministry concerned to ensure following of the law of the land in terms of foreign exchange. The summary has sought that Pakistan Petroleum Limited may be authorized to bid for the sale of assets MND Exploration and Production limited.ECC also discussed various legal and technical aspects of proposal made by Ministry of Petroleum to refund of General Sales Tax on gas Infrastructure Development Cess. In this regard, the Chairman FBR maintained that under the law there is no provision to refund the GST on gas infrastructure development cess.Other summaries approved by ECC are “An overall financial limit to pursue international exploration opportunities” and “Extension in GOP guarantee against financing for National Investment Trust NIT-State Enterprise fund for further two years and reduction of guarantee amount from Rs.20 billion to Rs.12.2 billion.”

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