The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Friday reduced gas tariff for industrial sector from Rs 600 to 400 per MMBTU, but the incentive was not extended to CNG sector and IPPs.
The committee also directed the Ministry of Water and Power to install smart meters in HESCO and SEPCO, power distribution companies in Sindh, within months to increase bill collection.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet. ECC approved reduction of gas price for Industry from Rs 600 to 400 per MMBTU. In accordance with Fertilizer Policy 2001, the industrial sector gas sale price will also be applicable to fertilizer sector only for fuel stock. The particular measure will cut short expenses of Rs 30 billion to the industrial sector and will improve its competitiveness.
ECC approved the settlement between the Ministry of Water and Power and Sindh government to resolve the issue of outstanding bills of government’s departments and HESCO/SEPCO for the period of July 2010 to July 2016. The government will clear the outstanding amount of Rs 27.398 billion in six equal monthly instalments starting from September 2016.
The finance minister directed Ministry of Water and Power for installing AMR meters (smart meters) in the area within four months, with 50 percent of the cost of the installation of meters to be borne by the government so that the issue may be settled on permanent basis.
ECC approved the summary presented by the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) regarding exemption of taxes on procurement of furniture and supplies of 15 District Health Units (DHU) and at three colleges located in the 2005 earthquake affected areas in the Azad Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The exemption is limited to the transaction Saudi Fund for Development (SDF) grant. SDF has provided funds through a grant and mandated UNICEF for procurement of furniture and supplies for the reconstruction of these educational institutions. The exemption has to be obtained from the ECC as the powers to grant exemption through SRO’s have been taken away from FBR/Revenue Division in Finance Act, 2015.
ECC also approved a proposal of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research regarding extension in export period of thirty days from the date of approval i.e. 15-06-2016 on the same terms and conditions already approved by the ECC in its meeting of 18 March 2016.
The minister said that the extension is limited for the balance quantity already approved for export for Sindh and Punjab. The ministry apprised the ECC that the Food Departments of the governments of Sindh and Punjab, All Pakistan Flour Mills Associations, and exporters have pleaded for extension as the specified quantity of wheat and wheat flour could not be exported within the specified period due to Eid holidays and transportation problems.
ECC was also approached by the ministry to grant extension of thirty days to allow the rebate payment on export of wheat and wheat flour i.e. 30th September 2015 to 30 October 2015.
It was decided that the extension on payment of export rebate would only be available to those exports which had been transported on or till 30th September 2015 deadline. ECC upheld the earlier decision that export of wheat and wheat flour made during the period from 1st October, 2015 to 12th January, 2016 shall not be entitled for any such support.