ECC approves disbursement criteria for Rs200bn Islamic Sukuk

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Saturday approved the criteria for the disbursement of Rs200 billion, received through Islamic Sukuk, in the power sector.

The ECC meeting was chaired by Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, according to a press statement issued by the finance ministry.

The committee decided that the energy purchase price, inclusive of general sales tax, will be paid to ensure that maximum generation capacity was available during the next three summer months (June, July and August).

The capacity payments will be disbursed to meet debt servicing and taxation requirements from June to end-August 2020, besides ensuring payments to WAPDA and nuclear power plants.

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The partial settlement of power import from Iran and National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) transmission charges would be disbursed separately for operational requirements of public sector plants and entities, as WAPDA and nuclear power plants comprise more than 30pc of the total planned generation in the next three months.

However, this disbursement criteria will be followed only for funds released under Rs200 billion Sukuk.

The ECC directed the energy ministry to submit a proposal in the next two weeks and set up general principles and an exact formula of payments in this regard.

The chair also directed the ministry to minimise discretion in the principles/formula so that the funds may reach the maximum possible number of receivers and reduce the buildup of liabilities towards the government.

It was also directed that as soon as the payments are made, the information should also be made public through the official website of the energy ministry.

Meanwhile, on a proposal of the Ministry of Industries and Production, the ECC approved the release of Rs525.858 million in favour of Azad Jammu Kashmir for disbursement among the eligible commercial and industrial consumers of electricity under the PM’s SME Relief Package.

Similarly, Rs136.299 million would be provided to Gilgit-Baltistan for disbursement among the commercial and industrial consumers of electricity.

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