Islamabad: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet met here today under the Chairmanship of Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. The Committee discussed proposal of Ministry of Industries for import of urea for Rabi Season 2011-12.
The Ministry informed ECC that import requirements of Urea are 7 lakh tones to meet overall demand of 34 lakh tones, in which 2 lakh tons have already been allowed. Minister for Petroleum added that import requirements of urea would further be increased due to short supply of natural gas in the coming two months. ECC discussed the proposal at length and decided to meet the remaining shortage of urea for Rabi 2011-12.
The Federal Minister for Finance being the Chairman of the ECC enquired from the members of the Committee about formula on the basis of which the gas is provided to the fertilizer plants, and took exception that despite provision of gas to certain plants they do not lower the prices of their products.
The Minister also expressed concern on pricing regime and subsidy provision and decided that a proper distribution mechanism be identified, and in this regard formed a committee headed by Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources comprising Secretaries of Water of Power, Production, Finance, Food Secretary, Industries and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, to deal with fertilizer companies for fixation of urea price. The Committee will report to ECC in three to four days.
The Committee also deliberated upon the distribution of the available and imported Urea, and directed the concerned Ministry to ensure the pricing regime for the Urea. And in this regard the line Ministry was asked to have a meeting with the dealers of Urea in the four provinces to have a unified price in the market so that the farmers should get the subsidized price. It has also been decided that the hoarding of fertilizer be curtailed by the dealer to avoid the fluctuation in urea price.
The committee reviewed the sugar situation in the country and discussed in detail the proposal to purchase of 2 lakh tons of sugar from domestic sugar mills. Finance Minister appreciated the sub committee’s effort for lowing the sugar price from Rs. 63 to Rs 53.73 on 12th December. Thus. ECC decided that purchase of sugar will be re-tendered with certain modifications in the tender terms and conditions.
The committee directed TCP to issue a Gallup tender and finalize the process within the coming ten to twelve days. The ECC was of the opinion that the lastly blacklisted sugar mills will be also allowed to bid in this tender provided they had deposited the penalty to the TCP, and this opinion was in the good spirit of the government so that level playing field is paved for all the mills.
ECC also approved the ban on import of CNG cylinder and conversion kits in the wake of current gas shortage in the country. The installation of new CNG kits in vehicles will also be banned. The existing stock and its owners shall be allowed to use their kits and cylinders, and no new licence shall be issued in this regard, the ECC decided. In the same way, CNG fitted public transport vehicles i-e buses/vans are exempted from this moratorium.
ECC reviewed its previous proposal of monthly Natural Gas Load Management Program (winter 2011) on SNGPL system, and decided to withdraw the previous approval of supply of 76 MMCFD gas to IPPs because of severe shortage of gas in coming months and to enhance the gas supply to fertilizers plants.
ECC also approved the summary “Energy Efficiency Audit of Fertilizer Plants” and “ban of POL product export to Afghanistan and Central Asian Republic, proposed by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources. The committee was informed that the actual conditions is quite different as this import is being practiced only on papers and all these POL products are being sold here in Pakistan after going through the export process.
For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326