The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet in its meeting chaired by the Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here Thursday, on a proposal by the Ministry of Industries and Production, accorded approval for allocation/release of foreign exchange by Ministry of Finance for import of another 50,000 MT urea out of the total quantity of 250,000 MT approved by the ECC earlier this year to guard against any shortage in the country. The import is being carried out by the Trading Corporation of Pakistan.On a proposal of the Ministry of P&NR, the ECC allowed the gas companies to raise the necessary finances of Rs.101 billion for North-South Gas pipeline, for which government will provide sovereign guarantee. This project would ensure supplies of gas to the 3600MW RLNG based power plants planned to be set up in the country by 2017.
On a proposal submitted by the Ministry of Water and Power, the ECC accorded approval to continue purchase of 74 MW energy from Iranian Company Tavanir. Accordingly the National Transmission & Dispatch Company limited (NTDCL) would approach Nepra for approval of extension of existing tariff from 1st of January 2015 to 31st December 2015 under which the purchase would be effected. It may be recalled that WAPDA had entered an agreement with Tavanir in 2002 for procuring 32 MW electricity which was later enhanced to 74MW. The Committee also directed the ministries concerned to make arrangements for export of rice to Iran in lieu of the dues payable for the imported electricity.
The ECC allowed Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to allocate RLNG volumes based on availability and demand of RLNG and keeping in consideration the transportation infrastructure and allied matters. The decision thus removes any ambiguity about allocation of RLNG. The ECC had already decided that RLNG would be treated as a regular petroleum product.
The ECC clamped ban on export of donkey hides till such time that regulatory mechanism was put in place by the provinces for proper disposal of carcasses of the animals. The decision has been taken amid media reports that carcasses of the animals were being sold in the market for consumption as meat. The ECC asked the Ministry of Food Security to convey the decision to the provincial governments to ensure that proper mechanism for disposal of remains of the donkeys was enforced as early as possible.