ISLAMABAD -  The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet on Monday approved the issuance of second revised government of Pakistan sovereign guarantees up to Rs30.612 billion for the 425 MW Nandipur power project.

The ECC gave this approval after detailed briefing by the Ministry of Water and Power. These guarantees will remain valid till May 31, 2017. Federal Minister Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting of the ECC here at the Prime Minister's office.

The ECC considered and approved the summary moved by the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions for the provision of 50,000 metric tons of wheat costing Rs2.007 billion to the United Nations World Food Program for the temporarily displaced people of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The approved quantity will be distributed to the target population from December 2016 to June 2017. It is worth mentioning that the quantity is the second such approval after the provision of 124,000 metric tons of wheat costing Rs4.977 billion to the displaced population; the stocks from the earlier grant will be exhausted in November as reported by the World Food Program.

In view of the growing needs of the country for energy, ECC considered and approved the proposal, sent by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, for the setting up of the LPG air mix plants at Murree (Kurbagla, Dewal, Company Bagh and Tret), Awaran and Bella at an estimated cost of Rs1353.29 million to be funded by the respective gas utility companies (SSGC and SNGPL) through their own resources. For the housing colonies, the private sector is free to establish their own LPG air mix plants subject to the fulfillment of all codal formalities such as OGRA licensing, explosive licenses etc. It was also decided that in addition to the above mentioned plants 30 new air mix plants each on SSGC and SNGPL systems will be constructed in the areas of AJK, Chitral, Gilgit Baltistan and backward areas of Balochistan as the development of these areas is the first priority of the government. The setting up of the LPG air mix plants will save these areas from the rapid deforestation in these areas.

ECC also approved and ordered the notification of the PNC for the LNG supplies from Malaysia, Russia, France, Italy, Oman and Azerbaijan in the wake of the growing demand of energy in the country. ECC also decided that the PNC will engage with all the energy supplying companies in the process to finalise the best deal for the country.

ECC also approved the proposal by Ministry of Water and Power for utilisation of power generated through captive power plants, as a short term measure, in order to optimize use of available generation in the coming summers of 2017 and 2018. The measure taken by the Ministry will add around 300-600MW power to the national grid on the following conditions: plants having capacity of 03MW or above on gas, furnace oil, coal, bagasse and other fuels/sources will be offered energy purchase under this policy. Tariff shall be based on take and pay basis and electricity actually delivered to the national grid. These plants shall not be entitled for any capacity charges/payments.