ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal cabinet on Friday directed the ministries concerned to expedite the signing of a new Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with K-Electric.
The meeting of ECC was chaired by Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin.
The federal minister for planning and energy updated the forum about the principles agreed between the federal government and the K-Electric to resolve most of their long-standing issues regarding additional supply and payment procedures during the last meeting.
The ECC appreciated the efforts made by all concerned and directed to expedite the signing of the new PPA for a better payment mechanism and uninterrupted power supply to Karachi. The ECC also accorded approval for settlement of issues out of past transactions through arbitration.
The energy minister said that a new PPA would be signed with the K-Electric soon.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar presented a summary regarding the allocation of funds for launching the second phase of Ehsaas Emergency Cash (EEC) programme. It was proposed that the number of regular Ehsaas Kafalat beneficiaries would be increased and additional beneficiaries would be added (after identification through ongoing NSER) to mitigate economic hardships amid the COVID-19 pandemic during the second phase of EEC.
After due deliberations, the ECC recommended the Ehsaas programme to evaluate whether the new NSER survey targets those sectors which have been adversely affected due to smart and micro lockdowns during COVID-19 and present an updated proposal before the committee. The underlying rationale is to provide targeted subsidies to support the most vulnerable segments of the society during the third wave of the pandemic.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) presented a summary regarding “Refinance and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Collateral Free Lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)” to facilitate SMEs which do not have collateral to get financing from banks. The proposed scheme will enable the SBP to partner with selected banks through a transparent procedure and provide collateral-free financing to SMEs to promote sustainable economic growth and development in the country.
The ECC also approved the summary and directed the SBP to develop a comprehensive monitoring mechanism with clear-cut benchmarks for effective performance evaluation of the scheme.
Secretary Power placed a summary before the Committee for allocation of 3.0 MMCFD gas from well NF Hor-1 (RE) to M/S PPL, for a period of two years, for sale to any third party selected through a competitive bidding process at a mutually agreed and negotiated price under a Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement (GSPA). The ECC considered and approved the summary with a direction that such summaries may be dealt with at the level of the concerned ministry/division after fulfilling all codal formalities.
The ECC evaluated a summary by the Board of Investment (BOI) regarding exemption from minimum Turnover Tax under Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act 2012 to facilitate both SEZ developers and its enterprises. After a detailed discussion, the committee directed the Law Division, FBR, and BOI to firm up proposals through mutual consultation regarding the implementation of the exemption from minimum Turnover Tax and present them before the next ECC meeting for requisite approval.
The Ministry of Privatization gave a detailed presentation before the ECC regarding the grant of the National Security Certificate (NSC) and outstanding payables and recoverable issues of Karachi Electric.
The ECC also considered and approved a summary presented by the Ministry of Commerce about condoning the delay of late shipment of vehicles imported by overseas Pakistanis subject to compliance with all other conditions of import.
The forum also approved billions of rupee technical supplementary grants of different ministries.