July 31, 2019 (MLN): The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet Wednesday took up the issue of increased prices of roti and approved a proposal submitted by the Ministry of Energy to revise gas prices for roti tandoors with effect from 1st July 2019 in the larger interest of the general public.
The ECC which met with Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue, in the chair decided to provide relief to the masses by reverting the gas prices for roti tandoors to the position of 30th June 2019. The decision was taken despite the fact that price of wheat which contributes 55 to 60 % to the price of the roti had remained unchanged while the gas bills that contribute 20 to 25 % to the price of roti, had also not been issued yet under the new tariff having come into effect from 1st July 2019.
Under the decision, a detailed survey of the tandoors across the country would be carried out in order to ensure that the benefit of revision in gas tariff was made applicable to stand-alone tandoors or roadside restaurants catering to the poor and no undue benefit was passed on the tandoors in hotels or larger restaurants which were to be treated as commercial gas connections.
The ECC meeting also called for effective price control by provincial governments and relevant authorities to ensure the sale of roti at its old price and decided to review the decision after three months in case the tandoor owners failed to pass the benefit of reduced gas prices to the common man.
A Report on Wheat Situation in the country was also presented to the ECC as directed in the earlier meeting of ECC. The meeting was briefed that there were 7.635 million tons of wheat stocks available with PASSCO and provincial food departments. It was also mentioned during the meeting that after the imposition of the ban on the export of wheat and wheat flour, there had been a considerable reduction in wheat prices in the market and the situation would eventually reduce the prices of roti and naan in the market.
On the summary moved by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, ECC decided to impose 10% regulatory duty on the import of cotton.
The implementation of “Authorized Economic Operator Program” (AEO) as envisaged under section 212 A(1) of the Customs Act, 1969 was also approved by the ECC.
The ECC also allowed the two LNG re-gasification Terminals (Terminal 1, Engro Elengy Terminal Private Limited and Terminal 2 Pakistan Gas Port Consortium Limited) to allocate additional re-gasification capacity of terminal, if any, to third parties on a commercial basis under mutually agreed arrangements subject to certain conditions.
The ECC also approved the Authorization of CPPA to sign the interim agreement regarding revised payment terms for generation on LNG by Altern Energy Limited, Kot Addu Power Company Limited & Public sector Gencos and extension of Interim Agreement signed with Fauji Kabirwala and Rousch Power Limited expiring on 30th June 2018.
The meeting was attended by Minister for National Food Security & Research, Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan; Minister for Planning, Development & Reform, Makhdoom Khurso Bukhtiar; Minister for Maritime Affairs, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi; Minister for Privatization, Muhammadmian Soomro; Minister for Power, Omar Ayub Khan; Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity, Dr. Ishrat Hussain and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum, Mr. Nadeem Babar.