ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Monday deferred the decision to increase dealers’ margin on petroleum products and review by oil marketing companies (OMCs).
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan presided over the meeting. The committee discussed the summary tabled by Ministry of Energy for revision of OMCs and dealers’ margins on petroleum products – Motor Spirit (MS) and High-Speed Diesel (HSD) – with effect from forthcoming revision in oil prices.
However, the sub-committee desired that the summary may be tabled in the next meeting after soliciting comments and views from all the members of the committee.
The All Pakistan Petrol Pumps Dealers Association has announced to observe a nationwide strike on November 25 as the government had failed to increase the dealers’ margin by 6 percent.
All Pakistan Petrol Pumps Dealers Association Information Secretary Nauman Ali Butt said petrol filling stations across the country would remain closed on Nov 25. He said the government had not accepted their demands and that no negotiations would be held until the margin was raised by 6pc.
The dealers had threatened to go on strike throughout the country with effect from Nov 5 against the government’s delaying tactics in increasing their margins. On Nov 3, the dealers’ association withdrew its protest strike call after a government team led by Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar agreed to increase their margins on the sale of petroleum products in a few days.
The meeting had also constituted a committee led by Petroleum Secretary Dr Arshad Mahmood and comprising stakeholders to ensure implementation of the agreement for increasing margins through approval from the ECC and the federal cabinet by November 15. The government team also included the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) chairman and Director General Oil.
Allocation for Communication Ministry
The ECC recommended the summary tabled by Ministry of Communication for special allocation of funds Rs. 6,000 million to initiate the process for improvement and rehabilitation program of Balkassar-Mianwali (N-130) and Mianwali-Muzaffargarh (N-135) roads
The ECC deliberated in detail and recommended the summary presented by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination for grant of Custom duty and taxes exemption on the donations of Personal and Protective Equipment (PPE) testing laboratory equipment by USAID funded programme- Promoting Quality of Medicine Plus (PQM+).
On two summaries tabled by Ministry of National Food Security and Research related to Award of Seventh International Wheat Tender 2021-22 opened on October 25, 2021 and Award of Eighth International Wheat Tender 2021-22 opened on November 4, 2021, the ECC recommended the proposal regarding scrapping of the 7th tender offered and floating of fresh tender.
The committee also recommended the proposal for cancellation of 8th international tender for import of wheat on the basis of higher prices. The committee further directed the Ministry of National Food Security & Research to reassess the need and requirement of Afghanistan for wheat.
The meeting also deliberated in detail and recommended funds for payment of salaries to the employees of Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC) and mark up to Bank of Khyber with directions to finalise the privatization of HEC by mid- January 2022. The ECC recommended the summary presented by Ministry of Commerce for elimination/reduction of tariffs on various items currently being imported from Afghanistan as a goodwill gesture.