ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) will approve the suggested rise in natural gas prices at its meeting today, said media sources.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh will preside at the conference. At today’s meeting, the ECC will consider an eight-point agenda including the price of natural gas for the 2019-20 fiscal year with effect from February 01, 2020.
“The IMF negotiating team is in Islamabad and the ECC is now going to consider another hike in gas prices to ensure its seriousness regarding curtailing the losses incurring to the cash bleeding energy sector,” the report said.
The Petroleum Ministry had previously submitted its overview as of February 01, 2020 to increase gas prices.
On average, the expected rise in gas prices during the current winter season will further add to the suffering of silent customers, who already face the headline inflationary pressure of 14.6 percent.
The committee will also address the legal supplementary grant for payment of compensation to the victims of a suicide attack at F-8 district court, Islamabad, on March 3, 2014 on the Supreme Court’s directives. It will also require approval of transferring funds to the Ministry of Defence as a technical grant for logistical support for Cessna aircraft maintenance.
The meeting will decide on approval for the National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) to exempt a minimum income tax of eight per cent. The creation of Digital Media Wing in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is also set to be approved.
The ECC must seek approval on behalf of the Government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to apply for the conversion of loan into grant. It will also seek approval in SRO 192(1) 2019 of 11-2-2019 for amendments extending the exemption from regulatory duty (RD) to export-oriented units (EOUs).
The agenda also has a presentation on a comprehensive policy to improve the country’s cotton production.