ISLAMABAD                  -                 The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Thursday has 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 Rs151 billion on the Government. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting of the ECC.

Under the plan, the power division has worked out that the cost of a three-month freeze on monthly fuel price adjustment until June would be Rs77 billion. This is to be followed by a financial impact of Rs60 billion caused by a decision to put off till June the application of quarterly tariff adjustment. Meanwhile, the cost over payment of electricity bills by domestic consumers of less than 300 units monthly consumption in three months has been worked at around Rs18 billion.

The ECC has also approved the appointment of valuator for Pakistan Energy Sukuk phase II (Rs200 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 Rs100 billion, the request was referred to Secretary Finance/ Chairman PPRA for facilitation on the matter.

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 are required for covering up the fixed costs of the sector. 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.

The following four technical supplementary grants were approved by the ECC the current financial year for the Federal Public Service Commission amounting to Rs160 million, for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal Program amounting to Rs1700.00 million, for Special Security Division (SSD) (South) Phase-I, Rs.11483 million and for Special Communication Organization (SCO), Rs.468.212 million.

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 w.e.f  1-3-2020 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 25-3-2020 till 30-4-2020.