ISLAMABAD: The Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Office Thursday morning, approving important proposals.
 
The ECC considered and approved the proposal moved by Ministry of Industries and Production for the import of additional 150,000 tons of Urea Fertilizer for Kharif Season. It may be recalled that the ECC in its meeting on April 23 had allowed import of 0.1 million tons of Urea. Additional import has been allowed with a view to bridge the demand and supply gap and build up sufficient buffer stock.
 
Through another proposal the Ministry of Industries and Production requested increase in subsidy on sugar during the month of Ramazan facilitating Utility Stores Corporation to sell sugar to customers at economical price. The ECC approved increase in amount of subsidy on sugar from Rs. 3 to Rs. 5 per KG. This step would add around Rs. 100 million to the amount of subsidy already approved by the ECC.
 
The ECC had detailed deliberations on proposal submitted by Ministry of Water and Power on Tariff and subsidy rationalization and approved that the current notified average consumer tariff rate along with its components and surcharges will be maintained so the total average national tariff will not increase. The government will continue to subsidize the domestic consumers (up to 300 units) and agriculture consumers, and continue to pass on the full cost of service as determined by NEPRA.
 
The ECC also considered the proposal submitted by Ministry of Water and Power that full benefit of all negative adjustment on account of monthly FCA will be passed on to all consumers except those who have subsidized electricity tariff. This will ensure that the cost reduction benefits will be passed on to the consumers who are paying higher cost of electricity.
 
The ECC also considered the proposal submitted by Ministry of Water and Power to further empower the Provinces in setting up of renewable energy projects. An enabling provision in the renewable energy policy has been incorporated. The provision will allow the provinces to facilitate sponsors of renewable projects and enter into tripartite arrangements where the Federal government will provide sovereign guarantee to the provincial projects on renewable energy.