ISLAMABAD - The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal of Power Division to allow additional supply of 150MW of power through national grid to K-Electric so as to address power shortage in Karachi.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired meeting of ECC of the Cabinet.

K-Electric faces substantial (500-600MW) shortfall in peak summer months. It had recommended the federal government for additional supply from the national grid including from Karachi-based nuclear power plants to meet peak demand and minimise public sufferings. It has been trying to secure about 500MW from the national grid in view of its inability to overcome capacity constraints on its own. The Power Division had moved a summary to the ECC in view of sufficient surplus capacity in the national network. The ECC approved a proposal of Power Division to allow additional supply of 150 MW of power through national grid to K-Electric.

Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research gave a presentation to the Committee updating it about the availability of wheat stock in the country. He informed that the wheat procurement process was being conducted smoothly by the provincial government (Punjab) and PASSCO. The Committee approved the proposed procurement target of wheat crop for the year 2018-19 to the tune of 5.15 million tons with financial limit of Rs.158.5 billion.

Approves Rs1.8b Rs1.8b power subsidy for tribal agencies

According to the summary, Ministry of National Food Security and Research has recommended the government to fix the target of wheat procurement for wheat crop 2018-19 at the tune of 5.150 million tons with the financial limits of Rs 41.787 billion as per for follows details: (i) Punjab 4 million tons, Rs 130.360 billion;(ii) Sindh 0.750 million tons- Rs 24.375 billion ;(iii) KP 0.300 million tons - Rs 0.00( KP government will utilize its own resources for wheat procurement) and Balochistan 0.100 million tons - 3.787 billion. The total financial requirement for 5.150 million tons of wheat has been calculated at Rs 158.522 billion.

In order to provide additional power supply to the seven tribal agencies of ex-FATA, the Committee approved additional subsidy amounting to Rs.1.8 billion to Tribal Electric Supply Company (TESCO) for the month of Ramazan. The Power Division informed that the government had been paying the electricity bills of the domestic consumers of former tribal agencies through subsidy of Rs.1.3 billion per month.

The ECC also acceded to the proposal of Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority by granting tax exemption to the projects being constructed under Saudi Fund for Development Grant. On the proposal of Ministry of Maritime Affairs, the ECC waived off demurrage (KPT storage charges) on the consignments of rice to be distributed among the needy people by a non-profit welfare organizations working for the poor and the needy people of the country.

The Committee also approved Technical Supplementary and Supplementary Grants for different Ministries/Divisions.