The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet approved in principle on Thursday a substantial increase in gas prices for different categories of consumers, subject to approval by the PM, curtailment of gas for CNG stations for 2 days in Sindh and 3 days in Punjab and a negotiated award of 2.2 billion dollar contract to a Chinese company for generation of the 1100MW Kohala hydropower project in AJK.The meeting of the ECC, presided over by Water and Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar due to absence of FM Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.
A final decision had been deferred “for two or three days so that the matter may be discussed at the cabinet level or with the PM”.
The decision has actually been postponed in view of a Sindh High Court verdict on prescribed gas prices expected on July 1.
A senior official told that Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain would again take the matter to the PM who had asked him a day earlier to get an economic decision from the ECC before a political decision.
Under a uniform natural gas management policy, gas tariff will be raised by 15% for domestic and commercial consumers, by 18 % for industries, by 36% for the power sector and by 96% for fertiliser feed gas.
The ECC also decided to raise CNG rates from 45% of petrol to 65%, an increase of Rs12/kg from Rs58, and curtail gas supply to CNG stations in Punjab for 3 days and in Sindh for 2 days to share gas shortage across the country.
Gas so saved will be provided for power generation in Sindh (KESC) and will be provided to fertiliser, industrial and power sectors in Punjab on an equitable basis for consistent power supply.