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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has allowed increase in premium on high-speed diesel (HSD) subject to maximum capping at US$ 16.75 per barrel for importing Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) other than PSO for the month of November 2022.

The meeting of the ECC presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was submitted a summary by the Ministry of Petroleum Division, seeking increase in high-speed diesel/gas oil premium for OMCs after sharing that the demand for HSD has been substantially increased due to ongoing sowing season and rehabilitation efforts after the floods in the country. ECC has allowed premium on HSD subject to maximum capping at US$ 16.75/BBL for importing OMCs other than PSO for the month of November 2022.

The meeting was informed that the ECC on 4th November 2022 allowed premium on HSD imports subject to maximum capping at US $ I5/BBL for OMCs during the months of November and December 2022. The meeting was further told that HSD sales have substantially increased in the country during first week of November 2022 and product stocks are depleting day by day. As of the 8th November 2022, HSD stocks in the country can cover demand for 15 days only.

Accordingly, any delay with regard to premium reimbursement to importers will lead to shortage of diesel due to increasing demand for ongoing sowing season and rehabilitation efforts after the floods in the country.

Keeping in view the increasing demand/ depleting stocks, PSO has been advised to plan an additional cargo of HSD during December 2022. Since Kuwait Petroleum Corporation has regretted to provide the same; therefore, PSO is issuing a gallop tender for one HSD cargo from the spot market.

Results of that tender will provide a market representative reference point which can be used as a benchmark for premium computation in HSD ex-refinery prices.

The ECC also considered the summary of Ministry of Energy, Power Division on standardised security package agreements for large-scale solar PV projects for substitution of power generation expensive based on imported fossil fuels under the framework and approved the summary except special payment mechanism and quarterly indexation as was proposed in the summary.

PD seeks Rs118.75bn supplementary grant

The ECC authorised Boards of Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) and CPPA-G to approve any amendments in the IA (implementation agreement) and EPA (Energy Purchase Agreement), as the case may be, that are project specific and may be required to comply with NEPRA’s tariff approval and/ or generation license for specific projects, subject to the condition that such amendments will not increase GOP obligations as contemplated and stipulated in the standard Security Package Documents.

It was shared that government plans to develop large-scale solar PV projects for substitution of existing thermal power plants based on imported fossil fuel within their technical and contractual limits through private sector on Built Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis.

The ECC discussed summary submitted by Ministry of National Food Security and Research on Kissan Package-2022 and approved the proposed package.

The package includes enhancement of agriculture loan disbursement from Rs1,419 billion to Rs1,802 billion, reduction in DAP price to Rs11,250 per bag from Rs13,750 and interest-free loans to convert 0.3 million tube wells to solar.

The ECC, after detailed discussion, approved proposal of the Finance Division for revision and renaming of Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan- Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (PMKJ-YES) as Prime Minister’s Youth Business and Agriculture Loan Scheme (PMYB & ALS) with a view to make it more purposeful and beneficial for small businesses and agriculture. New components of interest-free micro loans and agriculture loans have been added in the new scheme.

On a summary tabled by Strategic Plan Division regarding transfer of Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC) and State Engineering Corporation (SEC) land to HMC and HMC-3, the ECC was informed that the decision is needed to settle the land issue of the HEC for completion of its privatisation.

The ECC, after deliberation approved that the lands under consideration may be transferred from State Engineering Corporation and HEC to HMC and HMC-3, respectively along with liabilities and subject to payment of requisite dues.

The ECC approved the summary of Ministry of National Health Services, for regulations for technical supplementary grant as rupee cover for the remaining amount of ADB Financing Agreement of US$ 12.20 million equivalent to Pak Rupee 2,928 million (out of US$ 500 million committed by ADB), for procurement of COVID-19 vaccine and discharging liability of COVID-19 campaign during the current financial year, 2022-23.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Power Khurram-Dastgir Khan, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, Coordinator to PM on Commerce and Industry Rana Ihsan Afzal, federal secretaries, chairman FBR, and other senior officers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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