Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez shaikh chairing the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) in Islamabad on April 09, 2020.

ECC approves Rs13.8bln technical grants, forms committee to assess impact of economic slowdown on power sector

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet Thursday approved four technical supplementary grants worth Rs13,811.212 million and constituted a committee to see the impact of slowdown of economic activity on Power Sector.

The meeting of the committee was held here under the chairmanship of Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

The committee approved an amount of Rs160 million for the Federal Public Service Commission and Rs 1700.00 million for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal Program, said a press statement issued by the ministry.

In addition, the ECC also approved Rs 11483 million for Special Security Division (SSD) (South), Phase-I whereas an amount of Rs 468.212 million was approved for Special Communication Organization (SCO).

A proposal was moved by the Power Division for funding to the Power sector from the economic relief package for mitigating the effect of shortfall in the recoveries due to reduced demand of energy and late recoveries amid COVID-19 outbreak.

The funds were required for covering up the fixed costs of the sector, the statement said adding that ECC set up a committee constituting of Secretary Finance, Secretary Power and Adviser to PM on Austerity and Institutional Reforms to see the impact of slowdown of economic activity on Power Sector and firm up the TORs and mechanism that will assist in providing relief to the sector.

ECC approved the appointment of valuator for Pakistan Energy Sukuk phase II (Rs.200 billion) as the company had already done an extensive exercise of valuation of multiple government assets.

On the request by the Power Division for a Syndicated Term Finance Facility of Rs 100 billion, the request was referred to Secretary Finance/ Chairman PPRA for facilitation on the matter.

ECC approved the deferment of monthly and quarterly fuel adjustments in the electricity bills of the consumers till June 2020. The whole exercise will have a total impact of Rs 151 billion on the government.

ECC also approved making MD SNGPL a member of Price Negotiation Committee for TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran Gas Pipeline).

In order to cover up the losses incurred by PSO and Oil Sector due to devaluation of Pakistani rupee, ECC in principal agreed to a maximum of 60 days period for the adjustment of exchange gain or loss with effect from March 1, 2020 and directed the Power Division to resolve the issue in consultation with Finance Division.

On the proposal sent by the Ministry of Energy regarding liquidity requirements of Pakistan State Oil, which has huge outstanding receivables from different government sector organizations and is experiencing slow recoveries due to the ongoing pandemic, ECC directed Secretary Finance to consult with Power Division and help in retirement of some of the liabilities of PSO for running its business in this difficult situation.

On the Proposal moved by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, ECC approved the KPT Board Resolution for extension in existing free period from 5 working days to 15 working days for cargo/containers landing with effect from March 25, 2020 till April 30, 2020.

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