ECC okays Kohala hydropower project, petroleum-pricing formula

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved controlled deregulation of the petroleum pricing formula and 1,100 megawatts Kohala Hydropower Project in Azad Kashmir.The ECC met at the Prime Minister Secretariat under the presiding of Federal Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Shaikh to consider the 13-point agenda here on Friday until late hours.Addressing a news briefing on Saturday, Secretary Finance Salman Siddique told reporters that the ECC considered the summary for fixing support price of wheat Rs 1040 per kg, presented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. After deliberation, the committee constitute headed by Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Nazar Muhammad Gondal for recommendations in this regard. The Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Syed Naveed Qamar, Governor State Bank and Secretary Food and Agriculture include in the committee. The Committee also will give its recommendation for fixing target for wheat purchase target.

He said that the committee also approved the summary regarding to 1100-megawatt Kohala hydropower project near Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir adding to make sure transparency of whole process of the project, the ECC constituted a committee.Salman said that the ECC announced a package for flood affected farmers for rabbi season. Under the package, the commercial banks will provide credit to the farmers, who have more than 24 acre land at eight percent of interest rate and remaining 5.5 percent interest would be paid by federal and provincial governments on co-sharing formula.he said that the farmers, who have less than 24 acre land, the government will grand support Rs 2500 per acre.

The Secretary said that the ECC approved a summary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, regarding petroleum pricing formula proposal aims at controlled deregulation of the inland freight margins. He said that the ECC said that the prices would be fixed according to the proposal of the Bhagwan Das report. He said that the proposal sought allowing Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to fix the inland freight margins on destination-to-destination basis and notify it for the adoption of the oil marketing companies (OMCs).

After the approval of the petroleum prices formula, the prices of petroleum products would be deceased Rs 1.50 to Rs 2.0 per litter, however, it will increase Rs 2.0 to 3.50 per litter in rest of the country, he maintained.The ECC rejected the summary of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for exporting two million tones surplus wheat available within the public sector stocks due to the devastating floods destroyed wheat stored with households/farmers for annual consumption, Salman Siddique said.

He said that the ECC also approved principally allocation of Kunar Pasakhi gas for the power sector. The ECC constituted committee under co-chairing of Raja Pervez Ashraf and Syed Naveed Qamar for examining that what would be quantity of gas, which would be allocated gas to the power sector. The proposal submitted to the ECC aims at making power more affordable by making reduction in its cost of power generation through use of gas instead of expensive oil – Sananews