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Hafeez Shaikh presides meeting of Economic Coordination Committee of Cabinet

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Islamabad, December 18, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet met here today under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to discuss various agenda items of national importance. The following decisions were taken in the meeting;

The Ministry of Commerce placed before the ECC a summary for allowing Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to dispose of 700 MT of imported sugar. The ECC discussed in detail all factors on the issue and decided to allow TCP to dispose of the stocked sugar in an appropriate and transparent manner.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources presented a summary for allocation of natural gas for a short term to fertilizer sector from alternate sources till the time they develop new discoveries and lay dedicated pipelines. ECC was informed that fertilizer industry is located in a close proximity of two fields Mari and RetiMaru and gas supply can commence from these new fields in a short period of time.

The fertilizer industry can develop the said gas fields and will lay their own dedicated pipelines for supply of natural gas at an agreed price mechanism. The ECC formed a committee comprising of Secretaries of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Water and Power to present a detailed report to the ECC on an agreed mechanism to determine how natural gas from new discoveries should be developed and dedicated to the power and fertilizer sectors.

The ECC approved in principle to allocate natural gas to fertilizer plants from new dedicated sources for long term. This decision of the ECC was over a summary moved by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources.

The decision will help develop newly discovered sources of gas and will reduce pressure on existing transmission lines. The ECC further directed Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to devise a detailed mechanism for long term allocation of gas to fertilizer sector.

The ECC discussed in detail the guideline for CNG sector submitted by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources. After exhaustive deliberations, the ECC observed that it is an important issue of public interest and there is a lack of unanimity among the stake holders to agree on a pricing formula acceptable to all.

ECC decided to constitute a committee with the Law Minister as Chairman and Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Chairman OGRA and Secretary Cabinet Division as its members to formulate guidelines to determine pricing formula in consultation with all the stake holders. The said committee will submit its report in the next ECC meeting for final approval.

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Haji Ahmed Malik
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