Fortnightly review of fuel prices approved

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 7:31:56 by

ISLAMABAD, May 15: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Tuesday decided to review oil prices twice a month and allowed export of 400,000 tons of sugar in two phases.

Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh presided over the meeting, which did not consider a summary seeking raising of Rs82 billion through floating of terms finance certificates (TFCs) for meeting circular debt liability.

The decision regarding floating of TFCs was taken in a meeting headed by President Asif Ali Zardari on May 10, but it was linked with the approval of the ECC. No official word was issued to explain reasons for not considering the summary.

A high-level committee, constituted at the last ECC meeting to review the summary of the petroleum ministry seeking fortnightly price adjustment of petroleum products, recommended to review oil prices twice a month.

The ECC meeting also discussed the summary moved by water ministry about delay of payments by the power purchasers to independent power producers (IPPs) under Power Policy 2002.

The finance minister and the ECC members were of the view that water and power ministry should further improve the terms of settlement of the dues with IPPs and submit a report to the ECC.

The ECC granted the ex-post facto approval for establishment of a subsidiary of National Bank of Pakistan in Tajikistan to allow investment abroad by resident Pakistanis to remit the Tajik Somoni 50 million (approximately equivalent to .5 million).

A committee was constituted comprising minister for water and power, information technology, secretaries petroleum and law, representatives from Ogra and finance division to look into the summary for import of LNG.

While discussing the allocation of gas at wellhead of OGDCL dormant fields situated in Sindh, the finance minister directed the petroleum ministry to coordinate with the provincial government for getting formal approval from the latter in this regard.

The ECC also approved tariff protection to the industry manufacturing electrolytic tinplate. However, Mr Shaikh directed the commerce ministry to prepare a summary for strengthening the National Tariff Commission (NTC) and to decide the time of implementation of tariff protection to the industry.

The ECC also approved enhancement of exploration expenditures limit of million to million for Mari Gas Company Limited.

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 concerned Ministry to ensure following of the law of the land in terms of foreign exchange.

The summary has sought that Pakistan Petroleum Limited may be authorised to bid for the sale of assets MND Exploration and Production Ltd.

The ECC also discussed various legal and technical aspects of proposal made by ministry of petroleum to refund of General Sales Tax (GST) on gas infrastructure development cess.

In this regard, FBR Chairman Mumtaz Haider Rizvi maintained that under the law there was no provision to refund the GST on gas infrastructure development cess to CNG owners.

Others 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 Rs20 billion to Rs12.2 billion.”

Islamabad News Sources

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