Cabinet okays Rs134bn payment to IPPs

Published November 24, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs a federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday. — PID
Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs a federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday. — PID

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet green-lighted the payment of Rs134 billion to independent power producers (IPPs) as a second instalment, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said on Tuesday.

The announcement was part of the cabinet’s approval of the decisions taken by the Economic Coordination Committee on Nov 15, Mr Chaudhry said while apprising media personnel about decisions taken in the federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday.

In June, the government completed Rs89.2bn transactions as the first instalment of payments to 20 IPPs from the Rs403bn committed under a settlement agreement with 46 IPPs signed in February.

The disbursements are part of the tariff renegotiation process aimed at reducing the circular debt. The current tranche will take the total payments under the Feb 28 tariff renegotiation agreement to Rs225bn.

Mr Chaudhry said the cabinet had also given the go-ahead for determining prices of 38 new medicines.

The minister said he had requested Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan to inform the public as to how the present government uplifted the pharmaceutical sector. The country’s pharmaceutical sector had posted substantial growth after adjustments in medicine prices, he said.

The federal cabinet also approved the appointment of Saeed Ahmed as the CEO of Sukkur Electric Power Company for three years.

The CEO of Hyderabad Electric Supply Company had been removed and replaced by Noor Ahmed Soomro, the minister added.

He said Jameel Akhtar had been appointed as member power of Water and Power Development Authority, whereas approval for Javed Akhtar Latif as its Member Water had been given by the cabinet. The cabinet has also approved the establishment of the Gems and Jewellery Development Authority to boost its export.

A framework between civil aviation authorities of Pakistan and the United Kingdom had also been approved, the minister said, adding that the agreement would be for three years to improve standards of commercial airlines.

The cabinet also approved appointments of the Electronic Certification Accreditation Council members for a period of three years.

Moreover, the cabinet had given approval for the inclusion of Pakistan into Riyadh Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control, he said, adding that it would enable direct communication between Karachi and Riyadh ports.

It had also been decided to release funds worth Rs 10bn for completing Sustainable Development Goals, the minister added.

Among other decisions taken by the federal cabinet included: the release of funds for establishing Rehmatul-il-Alameen Authority, the relaxing of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority’s rules for urea to avoid shortage of fertiliser, the appointment of members for the board of governor of Federal Government Properties Management Authority.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2021

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