Govt Forced to Give in to Petrol Dealers’ Demands

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal submitted by the Ministry of Energy for an increase in oil marketing companies (OMCs) and petroleum dealers’ margins for Motor Spirit (MS) and High-Speed Diesel (HSD) with effect from forthcoming revision in oil prices.

Presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan, the meeting also deliberated and approved the summary presented by the Ministry of National Food Security & Research for the purchase of 175,000 MT imported wheat through the World Food Programme (WFP) from Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation Limited’s (PASSCO) stock for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The wheat flour will complement the WFP’s food basket for distribution to the food vulnerable population in Pakistan and Afghanistan within the WFP’s commitment to eliminate hunger.

The ECC also approved the summary tabled by the Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety Division for inclusion of beneficiaries of Ehsaas Kafalat Program with proxy means test (PMT) score between 29.01 to 37 under the recent National Socioeconomic Registry (NSER) survey in Ehsaas Emergency Cash (EEC-2) Program.

These beneficiaries are proposed to be provided one-time emergency cash assistance of Rs. 12,000/- per beneficiary on a first-come-first-served basis. This support would help to mitigate the socioeconomic impact on poor and vulnerable segments of the society amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The committee also discussed various other summaries and directed the concerned ministries/divisions to resubmit them after the revision of the proposal.

They included the summaries submitted by the Ministry of Industries & Production on Contractual Obligations of Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC), Provision of Un-targeted Subsidy for November and December 2021 under PM’s Relief Package and Exemption of Duties and Taxes for Uninterrupted Supply of Oxygen Gas in the Country for Medical Purposes.

It also included the summary tabled by the Ministry of Petroleum seeking permission to amend the petroleum concessions agreement allowing Government Holdings Private Limited (GHPL) assignment of working interest in Wali, Jandran West, Saruna and Pezu blocks of Oil & Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDCL).

Another summary was submitted by the Ministry of Energy regarding the levy of sales tax on subsidies granted by the Federal Government to DISCOs.

The meeting was attended by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue Shaukat Tarin, Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Industries & Production Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister for Privatization Muhammad Mian Soomro, SAPM on Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar, relevant federal secretaries and other senior officers.

Earlier, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue Shaukat Tarin presided over a meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the ECC. The TAC discussed the summaries in detail and proposed its recommendation for consideration of the Economic Coordination Committee.