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ECC approves proposal of issuing sovereign guarantee

ECC approves proposal of issuing sovereign guarantee

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) Monday accorded approval to proposal of Ministry of Water and Power for issuance of Sovereign Guarantee in respect of syndicated term finance facility for the Power Sector.

The ECC meeting was chaired by Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here. Another proposal by the Ministry of Water and Power on Wihholding Tax on dividend for HVDC Transmission Line from Matiari to Lahore, was deferred for inter-ministerial discussion and re-submission to the ECC thereafter.

The ECC also had a detailed discussion on the proposal by the Ministry of Industries and Production for release of Rs. 1035.202 million to Utility Stores Corporation(USC) on account of maintaining subsidized prices of 11 essential items.

However, the Chair with consensus of the house deferred the matter of release of funds and directed for a special audit of the sale-purchase prices of certain items, within 15 days to determine the need for release of the amount of subsidy.

Earlier, Secretary Water and Power on the occasion gave a short presentation on performance of power sector for the years 2014-16.

He said that in line with the vision of the Prime Minister, Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, all possible efforts had been made for development and strengthening of the power sector.

With concerted efforts there has been considerable decrease in load shedding in the country, he said adding that in urban areas load shedding had decreased from almost 12-14 hours in 2013 to 4 hours in Dec-16.

For Industrial consumers the load shedding has become zero while during the last two years, recovery rate was as high as 93% which had benefited the national exchequer by Rs.93 billion.

Transmission and Distribution losses had been brought down to lowest ever, 17.80% by 2016, again benefiting the exchequer by Rs. 23 billion.

AT&C losses, stood at 23% in 2016, unprecedented not only in Pakistan but in the region and this saved an amount of Rs. 116 billion for the nation.

Secretary Water and Power further informed that efforts were afoot towards achieving zero percent load-shedding.

The ECC appreciated the performance of the Ministry of Water and Power and directed the Ministry to ensure completion of remaining development and reform initiatives as per timelines.