Cabinet okays Rs 65bn bailout package for PEPCO

ISLAMABAD: Federal cabinet, on Wednesday, approved the release of financial support of Rs 65 billion to PEPCO in order to improve the supply of electricity to the people.The meeting of the federal cabinet was held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in federal capital.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Firdaus Ashiq Awan while addressing the media briefing after the cabinet meeting informed that the cabinet discussed and approved the proposed amendments in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) 1860 and Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) Draft bill, 2011 amending PPC and CrPC, for its introduction in either house of parliament. These amendments seeks to introduce stringent punishments i.e. punishment for offences related to oil and gas pipelines.

According to proposed punishments, tempering with main pipeline will be punished with imprisonment of 14-year with fine of up to Rs 10 million. Tempering with distribution pipeline to be punished with imprisonment of 10-year with fine of up to Rs 3 million. Tempering with gas metre of domestic consumer to attract imprisonment of six months with fine up to Rs 10 thousand. Tempering with gas metre of industrial or commercial consumer to be punished with imprisonment of 3-year with fine of up to Rs 1 million.

She informed that Industries Ministry’s secretary made an extensive briefing on the Ramzan Relief Package (RRP) which would be launched by the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) during the holy month of Ramazan. The prime minister stressed that all concerned department should ensure adequate supply of necessary household items in the markets. The prime minister directed the cabinet members for adoption of effective measures to bring down the prices of the essential commodities during the holy month of Ramazan. He directed the concerned authorities to take adequate measures against hoarding of essential food items.

The cabinet approved Rs 2 billion subsidised price package of essential food items to be distributed through the USC. The prime minister emphasised the concerned authorities to ensure availability of food items throughout Ramazan and no complaint of shortage or deficiency of any item should come. It may be mentioned that essential food items included in the Ramzan Relief Package are Atta, Ghee, Dal Chana, white Gram, Dal Mong, Dal Mash, baisen, dates, Rice Basmati, Rice Sella, Rice Broken, cold drinks, squashes, tea and spices. Furthermore, it was decided that USC will also reduce the prices of more than 800 items by 5-10 percent by narrowing their own margin. There will be a difference of Rs 17 per kg in the rate of sugar in the open market and the price at the USC. Moreover, there is a difference of Rs 125 – 185 in 20 kg bag of Atta between the open market and the USC. – Dailytimes