ECC okays cut in base tariff for tube wells under Kissan package

Published November 30, 2022
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chairs a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee in Islamabad on Tuesday. — PID
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chairs a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee in Islamabad on Tuesday. — PID

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Tuesday reduced the base tariff for electric tube wells under the Kissan package, fixed tobacco minimum indicative prices for crop 2023 and approved Rs15 billion for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The ECC meeting chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar also approved a summary seeking a uniform tariff for K-Electric besides approving supplementary grants for various ministries and divisions.

Under the Kissan package, the base tariff for electric tube wells was cut by Rs3.60 to Rs13 per kWh from Nov 1 to compensate farmers for the damage caused by the floods and heavy rains.

Of the amount approved for the ECP for the current fiscal year, Rs5bn will be disbursed immediately while the balance will be released in tranches.

Clears Rs15bn for ECP, fixes tobacco indicative prices

The meeting approved tobacco minimum indicative prices including Rs310 per kg (plain area) and Rs351 (sub-mountainous area) for flue-cured Virginia, Rs190 per kg dark air-cured tobacco, Rs146 per kg of white patta, Rs223 per kg of burley, Rs146 per kg of naswar/snuff/hookah and other rustica tobacco and its products and Rs200 per kg of sun-cured Virginia.

The ECC approved a summary of the Power Division on the uniform tariff for K-Electric. It was submitted that KE’s applicable uniform variable charge is required to be modified to maintain the uniform tariff across the country with category-wise increases including general supply tariff – residential, general supply tariff – commercial, industrial supply tariff, bulk supply tariff, agriculture tariff, and public lighting with a recovery period of four months.

It was also shared such adjustment will apply to the consumption from October to January 2023 to be recovered from consumers in December to March 2023, respectively.

The ECC approved a proposal of the commerce ministry to reduce the regulatory duty on Disodium Carbonate from the current rate of 20pc to 10pc and imposed a regulator duty at the rate of 5pc on filament yarns that fall under different tariff lines.

New housing scheme

The ECC formally allowed the Finance Division to launch a new scheme titled, Credit Guarantee Trust Scheme for low-income housing through Second Supplemental Trust Deed with an amount of $85m to be obtained from the World Bank to provide risk cover to financing institutions against their financing in the housing sector.

According to the Finance Division summary, submitted on the launch of the Credit Guarantee Scheme under the Credit Guarantee Trust Fund through Second Supplemental Trust Deed. It was presented that Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company Ltd (PMRC) has been setup as a joint initiative of the Government of Pakistan and commercial banks/DFIs to provide medium and long-term funding to primary mortgage lenders by raising from the capital debt market at cheaper rates.

PMRC being the trustee launched a scheme titled, Credit Guarantee Trust Scheme under the First Supplemental Trust Deed. To expand the provision of risk cover to FIs against financing in housing sector, the World Bank approved an additional credit line to Government of Pakistan for housing finance project which may be passed on to the Credit Guarantee Trust Fund.

Supplementary grants

The ECC approved a technical supplementary grant of Rs93.438 billion in three tranches of Rs31.146bn each. This amount will be used for the settlement of payables to government-owned power plants on a par with IPPS.

Another amount of Rs2bn was approved as a supplementary grant for flood-related media campaigns. The amount will be used to launch a comprehensive media awareness campaign on government initiatives, programmes and projects.

The ECC also approved a technical supplementary grant amounting to Rs162.521m in favour of the Ministry of Housing and Works in addition to approving Rs250m for the execution of a development scheme titled “ Construction of Railway Underpass, Gojra, District Toba Tek Singh” and Rs144.210m for the execution of development schemes in District D.I. Khan.

Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2022

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