ISLAMABAD - The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet has approved the renewal of gas price agreement between Qadirpur Joint Venture and the SNGPL, putting a burden of Rs200 billion on consumers as gas prices would go up sharply in 2013.Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the ECC meeting which approved the summary of the Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry for renewal of gas price agreement. Sources informed that under the new price agreement, the government has increased the rate of high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) from $200 to $400 per ton, which would lead to an increase in Qadirpur gas prices and government would fetch around Rs200 billion from consumers. Qadirpur is one of the largest gas fields of the country with 3.6 trillion cubic feet of reserves. The renewal of agreement will be effective from July. The ECC also approved abolition of fixing quotas for export of sugar by the mills. The ECC was told that there was an abundance of sugar in the country and it was necessary that the sugar mills were allowed to export sugar. It was decided that in every ECC meeting, the commerce secretary would present a briefing on the availability of sugar stocks for revision of the sugar export approval. The ECC also decided to convene a meeting to discuss the energy crisis and devise a mechanism to minimise the effects of energy shortage on different segments of society. Finance Secretary presented a review of key economic indicators before the ECC. He informed the ECC that year-on-year inflation rate based on consumer price index, whole price index and sensitive price index is estimated at 6.9%, 7.6% and 7.3% respectively.  The ECC was informed that in the regional countries Pakistan’s year-on-year inflation rate remained the lowest. The ECC was also informed that current stock position of wheat, sugar and fertilizer was satisfactory. The secretary said that a 1.3 percent increase in exports and 2.2 percent decrease in the imports was recorded from July to October. “There is a visible 15 percent increase in workers’ remittances and 7.7 percent increase in net revenue collection by FBR.”He also informed the ECC that KSE 100 index was registering phenomenal growth during the current financial year. The overall increase in the last five months was 21.8 percent — the highest in the world. The cabinet secretary presented a detailed report on the implementation status of the decisions taken by the ECC during its previous sessions. The body was informed that during the last five years, 92 percent decisions of the ECC had already been implemented and the remaining were in the process of implementation. The ECC expressed satisfaction over the implementation ratio.