ECC approves gas price revision, debt rescheduling, BISP grant

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet here on Monday approved gas price revision for domestic, commercial and power sectors for six months from January to June, 2023. The Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) tabled a summary on Natural Gas Sale Pricing for FY 2022-23 and presented tariff proposals for all consumer categories in accordance with Review of Estimated Revenue Requirement (RERR) for fiscal year 2022-23, according to press statement issued by the finance ministry.
The cabinet committee also allowed the Ministry of Economic Affairs for signing of debt rescheduling agreement with Russia for debt suspension of Covid related amount US$ 14.53 million. The approval was given after the ministry presented a summary on G-20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). This debt relief was announced in April 2020 for IDA eligible countries to mitigate the socio-economic impact of Covid-19.
Under this initiative debt relief was extended through the suspension of principle and interest payments. So far, 37 debt rescheduling agreements with 15 creditor countries have been signed. The ECC granted Rs. 40 billion as Technical Supplementary Grant to Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to meet its budgetary requirements for increase in the unconditional and conditional grants.
The Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety presented a summary on enhancement of BSIP budget. It briefed the committee on the on-going BISP programmes including Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Programme “Benazir Kafaalat” covering around 9 million families, two Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programmes namely Benazir Taleemi Wazaif and Benazir Nashonuma. Besides, this disbursement of cash assistance to affectees of floods as emergency relief of Rs. 25,000/- was provide per affected family to around 2.7 million families. In Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, there has been accelerated enrolments in Benazir Taleemi Wazaif and it is anticipated that additional 1 million children will be enrolled by the end of June, 2023.
Also BISP has extended CCT Benazir Nashonuma to all the districts of the country. Among others, the meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar; Federal Minister for Power, Khurram Dastgir Khan; Minister of State for Finance and Revenue, Dr. Aisha Ghous Pasha; MNA/Ex-PM, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi; Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Finance, Tariq Bajwa, Federal Secretaries and other senior officers. Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Syed Murtaza Mahmud, Minister of State for Petroleum, Musadik Masood Malik and Governor State Bank of Pakistan attended the meeting virtually through video link.