ISLAMABAD – The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday has approved the payment of first installment to 35 independent power producers (IPPs) out of total 47.
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Fayyaz Ahmed Tarin chaired the ECC meeting. Power Division presented a summary before the ECC regarding release of first installment of payment to IPPs. Secretary Power Division briefed the committee about the recommendations of the sub-committee constituted during ECC last week. The ECC approved payment of first installment to 35 IPPs out of total 47 whereas payment to the remaining 12 IPPs (under Power Policy 2002) may be withheld owing to the NAB investigation.
It was decided that about Rs 90 billion worth of first payment to IPPs set up under the 1994 power policy and before be cleared without any further delay. However, the ECC decided to withhold remaining amount of about Rs 58-60 billion to IPPs under the 2002 power till the clearance of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Under the payment mechanism agreed upon with the IPPs, the amount was to be paid in two instalments. The 40pc of said payables was to paid latest by March 12 — one-third in cash, one-third in five-year sukuk and one-third in 10-year PIBs at floating rate of T-bills plus 70 basis points. The remaining 60pc would be paid within six months in almost the same manner. However, the payment schedule was disturbed after NAB decided to examine the deal.
Secretary Power gave a detailed briefing to the committee regarding a draft summary for approval of arrangement for providing additional power from NTDC to K-Electric since April 2020. The secretary power also raised the issue of non-payment for the additional power supply by K-Electric to power division. After detailed discussion, the ECC constituted a sub-committee comprising federal minister for planning, federal minister for energy, federal minister for maritime affairs and special assistant to prime minister on power to be headed by the finance minister to negotiate with the Karachi Electric for settlement of payment dispute amicably.
Power division placed a summary before the ECC regarding tax on payments to the offshore supply contractors of IPPs in AJK. The ECC considered and approved the summary to facilitate swift processing of such projects due to its strategic importance.
The ECC considered and approved a summary tabled by the ministry of industries and production regarding exemption from duties and taxes for import of oxygen gas, oxygen gas cylinders and cryogenic tanks by oxygen concentrators / generators / manufacturing plants under respective Harmonized System (HS) codes for a period of 180 days to cope with the increased requirement of oxygen during the third wave of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry of commerce presented a summary regarding implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) through export policy order, 2020 and import policy order, 2020. The ECC considered and approved the summary.
Lastly, power division presented a summary before the committee regarding retargeting of power sector subsidies for electricity consumers during phase-I in consultation with Ehsaas and finance division. The ECC approved the summary, in principle, with a direction to work out modalities for future course of action.
The following Technical Supplementary Grants were approved by ECC: Allocation of funds for the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for procurement of oxygen gas and delivery mechanism for import of 6,000 MT of oxygen amounting to Rs 1800 million to meet the emergency requirement for supply of oxygen to hospitals for treatment of Covid-19 patients. Rs10 billion for the finance division for re-imbursement of telegraphic transfer charges to the banks on home remittances to encourage overseas Pakistanis to remit money through formal banking channels. Rs 115 million for the ministry of defence for the up-gradation of health care facilities at cantonment general hospital, Rawalpindi.
Rs. 800 million to the ministry of defence production for the payment of outstanding loan to the national bank of Pakistan (Bahrain). Rs 8 million for the ministry of information and broadcasting to clear the pending liabilities of “Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper Employees (ITNE)”.
Rs 571.216 million for the ministry of law and justice for the construction of Islamabad High Court building. Rs350 million for the ministry of law and justice for a new building of the Supreme Court branch registry Karachi. Rs 198.017 million for running isolation hospital and infections treatment centre, Islamabad for treatment of Covid-19 patients. Rs 27.5 billion for national disaster management fund to complete NDMA’s component under Karachi Transformation Plan.
Rs 48.337 million for the ministry of parliamentary affairs for meeting its various operational expenses. Rs 17.739 million for the Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) to repair important laboratory equipment. Rs 1563.046 million for the ministry of federal education and technical training for establishment operation of basic education community schools. Rs 1210.18 million for the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) for meeting various operating expenses. Rs 100 million for the cabinet secretariat, given as contribution from the government of Punjab for Pakistan tourism development endowment fund.
Federal minister for privatisation Muhammad Mian Soomro, federal minister for interior Shaikh Rashid Ahmad, Federal minister for economic affairs division Omar Ayub Khan, federal minister for planning, development and special initiatives Asad Umar, federal minister for energy Muhammad Hammad Azhar, federal minister for industries and production Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, federal for national food security research Syed Fakhar Imam, federal minister for maritime affairs Ali Haider Zaidi, adviser to the pm on commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, adviser to the pm on institutional reforms and austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain, special assistant to prime minister on finance and revenue Dr Waqar Masood, special assistant to prime minister on power petroleum Tabish Gauhar, federal secretaries, chairman BOI and other senior officers participated in the meeting. Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Reza Baqir also joined through a video link.