ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday finally agreed to a big hike in gas prices, dealing a huge blow to the inflation-weary populace and potentially worsening the misery. be.
Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet. It will be held in the federal capital under the chairmanship of the Minister of Finance. President Shamshad Akhtar has agreed to increase gas prices to 193% from November 1, 2023. The decision comes ahead of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) review scheduled for later this month, which will call on Pakistan to address and reduce soaring circular debt in the energy sector. ing. .
As per the approved outline, the monthly fixed charges will be from Rs 10 to Rs 400 for protected consumers and from Rs 460 to Rs 1,000 for unprotected consumers and up to Rs 2,000 for higher charges. was raised to.
The government increased local gas rates to 173% for unprotected domestic consumers, 136.4% for commercial consumers, 86.4% for exports, and 117% for non-export industries.
Exporters have been able to reap maximum benefits as customs duties will be increased by 86% from November 1, 2023.
, it was previously proposed to increase the average tariff from October 1, 2023, but the ECC approved it to take effect from November 2023.
According to the Ministry of Finance, various agenda items and briefs from various ministries were considered. meeting.
The Ministry of Industry and Production has released an outline of measures to meet urea requirements for the 2023-24 rabi season. The ECC discussed the proposal in detail and approved the immediate import of 200,000 tonnes of urea fertilizer.
It also directed to ensure an uninterrupted supply of gas for the fertilizer industry. It was also decided that the provinces would be asked to act more proactively to bear the importation cost.
The meeting also deliberated over a summary submitted by the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) for approval of the Technical supplementary Grant of Rs484 million to meet critical expenditure on pay and allowances of 415 contract and project employees from July 2023 onwards.
The ECC directed the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives to identify the savings to finance the salaries of the ERRA employees.
A summary of the Ministry of Finance regarding the establishment of the National Credit Guarantee Company Limited to support the credit enhancement of the Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) was also considered and approved by the forum.