ECC okays Rs1b for PTDC endowment fund


our correspondent
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Technical Supplementary Grant of Rs 1 billion under demand of the Cabinet Division for establishment of Pakistan Tourism Development Endowment Fund under Public Account. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who chaired EC meeting here, directed the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation to come up with their tourism development and soft image promotion plan in the next meeting, according to a Finance Ministry’s press release.
The ECC also granted approval of allocation of gas from PGNiG’s RIZQ Gas Field to M/s SSGCL. It was briefed to the ECC that currently two wells namely Rizq-1 and Rizq -2 are producing 16 MMFCD gas from Rizq Gas Field, which are allocated to M/s SSGCL, whereas Rizq -3 which is under drilling, is expected to add another 9 to 10 MMCFD gas to the existing production. Upon completion of the well, the cumulative gas production from this gas field is expected to raise upto 25 MMCFD. The price of the gas would be according to the applicable Petroleum Policy. The ECC also gave approval for the constitution of the Price Negotiation Committee (PNC) for TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline project, which would negotiate the price with Turkmen gas.
The committee would consist of the Secretary, Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) as chairman, and Secretary Finance or his nominee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Energy (Power Division), Director General (Gas)/ Director (Gas) and SSGCL Managing Director as members.
On the demand moved by the Ministry of Industries and Production for Rs 3.02 billion for the payment of outstanding dues of SSGC Private Limited by Pakistan Steel Mills on account of gas bills, the ECC directed to constitute a three-member committee under the chairmanship of Secretary Finance to find out a feasible solution for the issue so that the already allocated budget might not be exceeded and the liabilities of both SSGC and PSM were duly settled.
The ECC directed the Finance Ministry to explore the possibilities for improving the liquidity position of Pakistan State Oil (PSO), which had incurred exchange losses of around Rs 28 billion had incurred on FE-25 loans, which were acquired under the ministry’s instructions for financing of import operations of the PSO.
The Finance Ministry assured the ECC of utilization of all possible funding options in the ongoing financial year for the purpose, and to entertain any deficiency in the funds in the upcoming budget. The ECC granted extension of Government of Pakistan guarantee against credit facility of National Bank of Pakistan amounting to Rs 5 billion in favour of the Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan.
On the request of the Ministry of Water Resources, the ECC granted approval to WAPDA to raise loan for the settlement of the financial facility of Rs 17.5 billion with one-year tenure and GoP guarantee. Clearance under Prudential Regulations R-4(clause 1a and 2) from the State Bank of Pakistan to disburse the facility initially against a letter of comfort was also granted.

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