ECC diverts development funds, eyes exit from power subsidies for industry

ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday “reallocated” from a major gas pipeline project about Rs15 billion for setting up of LPG air-mix plants in every district of the country a day after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) imposed a ban on diversion of funds and recruitments so such diversions could not be used for political purposes.

The ECC also considered the issue of power subsidy for the industrial sector and the payment of Industrial Subsidy Package claims and decided to constitute a committee to analyze impact and sustainability of the package.

It was also decided that retrospective recovery of Industrial Support Package (ISP) claims may be made, under mechanism proposed, if any, adjusted in tariff and subsequent claims of subsidy through the same policy directive.

In order to implement the decision, Finance Division was requested by Power Division for retrospective release of ISP claims till June 2017 because, if ISP claims are not released immediately, the sector is not in a position to continue the package for industry as announced by the Prime Minister.Finance Division, however, released only Rs12.640bn against the claims of Rs23.194bn after netting off of negative Fuel Price Adjustment (FPA) of corresponding month. The ministries of finance and power division proposed discontinuing the subsidy beyond December 2017.

Published in Dawn, 13th April, 2018