ECC okays Rs167bn power sector debt rescheduling.

Byline: Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD -- The EcoAnoAmic Coordination CommAittee (ECC) of the cabinet on Wednesday approved rescheduling of about Rs167 billion power sector debt.

A meeting of the ECC, presided over by PM's adviser on finance and revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh increased sale margins of oil marketing companies (OMCs) and dealers and ordered release of 1,107 imported vehicles impAounded at ports for months.

It also allowed a 6.5 per cent increase in dealers' margins and OMCs commission on sale of petrol and high speed diesel with immediate effect despite opposition from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) and the Planning Commission.

The OMCs' margin was increased by 17 paisa per litre of both HSD and petrol instead of 25 paisa per litre proposed by the petroleum division. They would now charge Rs2.81 per litre commission instead of existing rate of Rs2.64.

Likewise, the dealer's commission was increased by 22 paisa per litre on petrol and 18 paisa on HSD instead of 34 paisa and 29 paisa per litre requested by the petroleum division. The dealers would now charge Rs3.70 commission on every litre of petrol and Rs3.11 on HSD.

Increases sale margins of OMCs and orders release of over 1,100 vehicles impounded at ports for months

The petroleum division had worked out the increase in margins on the basis of more than 8.5pc rate of inflation for the period from April 2018 to May 2019. The planning commission, however, challenged this, saying the inflation (CPI-General) during the fiscal year ending June 2019 was about 6.5pc and increase should not be allowed on the basis of selective months.

The ECC decided that in future the margins of OMCs and dealers would be worked out on the basis of annual average inflation of fiscal year, and also asked relevant stakeholders, including the petroleum, finance, planning, industry and production divisions, Bureau of Statistics and Ogra to finalise recommendations within two months and resubmit the case.

The committee approved a proposal to raise finance facilities of Rs136.454bn and Rs30bn for adjustment of existing finance facAilities of the Power Holding Limited (PHL) with a consortium of local commercial banks in pursuance of separate ECC decisions taken in November 2016 and February 2017 for repayment of liabilities of Discos.

The meeting was told that terms and conditions of the PHL finance facilities had a five-year tenure, inclusive of two-year grace period which had been completed and...

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