ECC extends cheaper gas to two Punjab urea makers.

ISLAMABAD -- The federal government on Tuesday extended for two months the supply of cheaper Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to two Punjab-based fertiliser plants with an additional subsidy of about Rs20bn and subsidised supply of essential items in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa until June 2023 with Rs17bn additional funds.

The decisions were taken at a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar which also approved Rs9.8bn additional funds for the defence ministry and Rs1.26bn for payment of 14-month gas charges on behalf of Pakistan Steel Mills to Sui Southern Gas Company.

Ministry of Industries and Production submitted a summary on the continuation of Prime Minister's Relief Package (PMRP) and Sasta Atta initiative for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa beyond Aug 31, 2022. The schemes were introduced in January 2020 and June 2022 but were partially unfunded.

After discussions, the ECC approved the continuation of PMRP and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sasta Atta initiative from Sept 1 to Nov 15 on the existing model of untargeted subsidy at the prevailing rates and allocation of additional funds amounting to Rs4.908bn over and above the regular budgetary allocation through supplementary/technical supplementary grant to recoup the amount already spent by the Utility Stores Corporation (USC).

Secondly, the ECC also allowed the continuation of PMRP on a hybrid model for a period starting Nov 16 to June 30, 2023 (excluding Ramazan) and allocated additional funds to the tune of Rs10.755bn through a supplementary grant. Third, the ECC also approved the continuation of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sasta Atta initiative and provision of subsidised Atta from Nov 16 to June 30, 2023, after rationalising some stores, with the allocation of funds of Rs1.561bn through a supplementary grant.

The ECC also approved a summary of the Ministry of Energy on the continuation of subsidised RLNG...

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