Islamabad July 8 2022: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Thursday approved the proposed revision in consumer gas sale prices with direction to further reduce the gas rates for export and non-export industry/ captive power.
Petroleum Division submitted a summary on the natural gas sale pricing FY 2022-23. It was submitted that since FY 2015-16, the gas prices were not revised in line with revenue requirements determined by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), according to press statement issued by Finance Ministry.
This resulted in accumulation of revenue shortfall/tariff differential amounting to Rs. 547 billion as of March 2022. Similarly, gas sector circular debt remained at Rs. 299 billion in June, 2018 increased to Rs. 1232 billion on 31st March 2022.
To overcome revenue losses, contain gas sector circular debt, to sustain the supply chain and invest in exploration and production, Petroleum Division placed broad principles/parameters for revision of the category – wise consumer gas sale prices.
The new gas prices are effective from July 1 to generate about Rs666 billion in revenue for two gas utilities during the current fiscal year.
The revised rates would be notified after the ratification by the federal cabinet soon after Eidul Azha, as these have to be legally in place by July 13 under the law.
According to the ECC’s decision, gas rates for export and non-export sectors would now be reduced by Rs100 per unit — or million British thermal units (mmBtu) — to Rs1,350 and Rs1,550 per mmBtu, respectively, instead of Rs1,450 and Rs1,650 recommended by the petroleum division. These rates would still be 58pc higher than existing rates of Rs852 and Rs1,087 per unit, respectively.
Under the decision, gas rates for the lowest residential slab of up to 50 cubic metres would be charged at Rs171 per mmBtu, showing an increase of 43pc over the existing rate of Rs121 per unit. The monthly bills of these consumers would go up by 36pc. The next slab of 100 cubic metres would remain unchanged at Rs300 per unit.
The third slab (200 cubic metres) and fourth slab (300 cubic metres) would jump 26pc and 151pc to Rs696 and Rs1,856 per unit.
The last existing slabs have been merged into one for all consumers with monthly consumption of 400 cubic metres and would be charged at the same rate of Rs3,712 per unit — almost the cost of LNG. Those consuming up to 400 cubic metres were currently charged at Rs1,107 per unit who would now face an increase of 335pc and their bills would jump by 346pc.
The rate for above 400 cubic meters was currently charged at Rs1,460 per unit, which would now face a 154pc increase to Rs3,712 per unit.
ECC meeting was chaired by Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Miftah Ismail while among others it was attended by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal; Federal Minister for Commerce, Syed Naveed Qamar; Federal Minister for Power, Khurram Dastgir Khan; Minister of State for Petroleum Division, Musadik Masood Malik; Member National Assembly Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Federal Secretaries and senior officers.
Ministry of Industries and Production also submitted a summary on continuation of PM’s relief package, 2020, Sasta Atta initiative for KPK and expansion of Utility Stores network across Pakistan.
The ECC approved the continuity of distribution of subsidized Atta under Prime Minister’s Sasta Atta Initiative on 1200 additional sale points in KPK for the two months from 1st July to 31st August, 2022 with further directions to submit in the next meeting of ECC complete mechanism on distribution of subsidy packages through USC.
Ministry of Industries and Production submitted another summary on provision of funds to HEC to release markup amount. The ECC allowed funds in the form of grant amounting to Rs. 96.873 million already released as loan to HEC in pursuance of ECC’s decision dated 22nd November 2021.
The ECC also approved funds amounting to Rs. 20.085 million in the form of Grant and allowed its allocation through Technical Supplementary Grant to Ministry of Industries and Production. The funds have already been approved by the ECC in its decision dated 30th March 2022.
Further the ECC directed the Privatization Commission that in future all liabilities may be mentioned in contracts between buyer and seller of privatized entities.
Ministry of National Food Security and Research submitted a summary on urgent advice relating to award of second international wheat tender 2022 opened on 1st July, 2022 for 500,000 MT. The ECC after discussion scrapped the tenders and directed TCP to float fresh tender for import of 300,000 MT of wheat.
Further, a committee has been formed on the directions of the Prime Minister comprising of Ministers of Commerce, National Food Security and Research and Finance to ascertain the actual wheat requirement for the country.
On a summary of Power Division, the ECC granted approval for issuance of GoP sovereign guarantee of Rs. 10 billion for construction of two units of 660 MW Super Coal Power Projects, Jamshoro, that is 90 % compete, in favour of local banks/financial Institutions under Syndicated Term Finance Facility (STFF) agreed with M/s Faysal Bank Limited.
Ministry of Economic Affairs submitted a summary on tax exemption from the payment of GST for Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In order to support the development activities carried out by JICA , the ECC allowed blanket exemption from the payment of GST by JICA in respect of goods purchased by JICA. This exemption shall also be available on procurement of services by JICA received in Islamabad Capital Territory under ICT ordinance, 2001.