ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Monday decided against an immediate hike in gas prices and left the final decision to Prime Minister Imran Khan, sources claimed.
Finance Minister Asad Umar chaired an ECC meeting in Islamabad where the idea of increasing gas prices with immediate effect has been rejected, transferring the onus on to Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“The ECC has prepared guidelines for an increase in gas tariff,” sources added.
“A final decision on the hike in gas prices will be taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan,” the sources further said.
Further, the ECC decided to provide fertiliser factories with 50 per cent local gas and 50 per cent LNG.
“The LNG bills will be divided equally between the fertiliser companies and the government,” sources added.
Stating that all fertiliser companies will continue production on full capacity, sources said, “Fertilisers will be imported to meet the demand for urea.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the ECC was informed that the country’s circular debt stood at Rs596 billion, following an increase of Rs30 billion in July.
Another Rs582 billion was parked with the Power Holding Company under the STFF arrangements, hence bringing the total current liability to Rs1,188 billion, the Ministry of Energy, Power Division told the ECC in its detailed presentation based on data compiled up to July 31, 2018.
The finance minister said that all the facts would be made public to make decision making a transparent and inclusive exercise. He also expressed displeasure over the issue of fertilizer pricing and its export, by the previous government, which was totally against the interests of farmer community.
Moreover, the summary for Pakistan State Oil’s financial health and liquidity position was deferred as the issue was closely linked with circular debt.