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ECC approves abolishment of Time-of-Use tariff scheme for Industrial...

December 3, 2020: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet in Islamabad today. Minister for Privatization Muhammad Mian Soomro, Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, SAPM on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, SAPM on Power Tabish Gauhar and Adviser to the PM on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Ishrat Hussain participated in the meeting. Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr. Reza Baqir joined the meeting through video link.

The Power Division presented the case for abolishment of Time-of-Use tariff scheme for Industrial consumers to spur industrial activity amid COVID-19 pandemic by removing the distinction between the current system of peak and off-peak hours as a part of Industrial support package. The underlying rationale is to incentivize industrial units to operate round the clock and produce greater output during testing times.

Consequently, ECC accorded approval, in principle, to the proposal regarding amendment in the respective SROs both for the XWDISCOS and K-Electric to charge the off-peak rates against the peak hours. The abolishment of peak and off-peak tariff structure would be implemented w.e.f. 01 November 2020 till 30 April 2021.

Press Release

SSGC to meet increased gas demand with additional RLNG...

Dec 03, 2020: The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), which is mainly responsible for supplying gas in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, has evolved an effective strategy to meet the increased commodity demand during the peak winter season by injecting additional RLNG in its transmission network.

“This year, around 160 MMCFD (Million Cubic Feet per Day ) gas is expected to be short supplied from the fields and the SSGC will face [overall] shortage of around 250-300 MMCFD gas this winter. This shortfall will be met by injecting RLNG in the system,” according to an official document available with APP.

During the last winter, the SSGC was getting an average 1,145 MMCFD gas supply from its 25 operational fields, which has reduced to 985 MMCFD in 2020-21 due to depletion of the hydrocarbon deposits, curtailing the supply by 160 MMCFD gas.

Keeping in view the increased gas demand, the company has started implementing its winter plan as 200 MMCFD Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) has already been injected in the system.

Besides, it commenced work on laying a 17-Kilometer pipeline after getting Right of Way (ROW) from the Sindh government, for which the federal government had been requesting for the last one-and-a-half years.

The 30-inch dia pipeline would be laid from the Custody Transfer Station (CTS) of RLNG at the Bin Qasim [Qasim Port Karachi] to Sales Meter Station Pakland where the SSGC transmission network is available for injecting the RLNG.

Currently, as many as two LNG terminals were operating in the country having capacity to inject around 1200 MMCFD gas in the national transmission system, which helped in bridging the gap between demand and supply of the gas to great extent.

Pakistan's indigenous gas production is around 3.7 Billion Cubic Feet per Day (BCFD) against the demand of 6 BCFD, while the existing reserves are depleting at the rate of 9.5 percent annually and unfortunately oil and gas Exploration & Production companies made no significant discovery since long.

Realizing the present and future needs of gas, the government is encouraging private sector players in the LNG business under its ease-of-doing-business plan.

The strategy has started yielding good results as two multinational companies are planning to start physical work on setting up their LNG terminals during next few months, while another local company is flexing muscles to start import of the commodity at the earliest.

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APP

PKR appreciates by 30 paisa at interbank trade

December 03, 2020 (MLN): Pakistani rupee (PKR) appreciated by 30 paisa against US Dollar (USD) in today's interbank session as the currency closed the day's trade at PKR 160.17 per USD, against yesterday's closing of PKR 160.46 per USD.

The rupee saw a volatility free session as very little movement was recorded trading in a range of 59 paisa per USD showing an intraday high bid of 160.65 and an intraday Low offer of 160.15.

Within the Open Market, PKR was traded at 160.4/161.5 per USD.

Alternatively, the currency lost 5 paisa to the Pound Sterling as the day's closing quote stood at PKR 214.59 per GBP, while the previous session closed at PKR 214.54 per GBP.

Similarly, PKR's value weakened by 80 paisa against EUR which closed at PKR 194.2 at the interbank today.

On another note, within the money market, the overnight repo rate towards close of the session was 6.75/7.00 percent, whereas the 1 week rate was 6.95/7.00 percent.

Copyright Mettis Link News

Foreign investors retract net amount of Rs.1.57 billion via...

December 03, 2020 (MLN): Foreign Investors during the week ended November 27, 2020, took out net amount of Rs. 1.57 billion by selling of local securities, whereas last week, the accounts observed a net purchase of Rs.45.12 million

According to a weekly report on Specially Convertible Rupee Accounts (SCRA) released by the State Bank of Pakistan, the gross sale of securities during the week was recorded at Rs.6.6 billion, which is around 8.5 percent lower than the figures recorded last week. Similarly, the total purchase of securities stood at Rs.5 billion, which is 30.7 percent lower than the prior week.

Over the week, the overall purchase of securities declined by Rs.2.22 billion while the net sale of securities tumbled by Rs.611.64 million.

Apart from this, the inflow of remittance into these accounts stood at Rs.1.32 billion, while its outflow has been reported at Rs.2.8 billion.

The closing balance of SCRA was recorded at Rs.28.97 billion, which marks a rise of Rs.341.62 million over the week.

Copyright Mettis Link News

World food price index jumps in Nov to almost...

December 3, 2020: World food prices rose for a sixth month running in November, hitting almost a six year high with the index posting its biggest monthly increase since July 2012, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization's food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 105.0 points last month, versus a slightly revised 101.0 in October.

The October figure was previously given as 100.9.

The Rome-based FAO also said in a statement that worldwide cereal harvests remained on course to hit an annual record in 2020, even though it trimmed its forecast for a third month running.

Vegetable oil prices led the upward charge in the overall index, surging 14.5% month-on-month, thanks largely to a rally in palm oil prices tied to a sharp fall in global inventories. [POI/]

The cereal price index posted a more modest 2.5% rise in November from the month before, some 19.9% above its value a year earlier. Wheat export prices were pushed higher as a result of "reduced harvest prospects" in Argentina, while maize prices were lifted partly by lower crop forecasts in the United States and Ukraine. Rice prices held steady.

Average sugar prices increased 3.3% from October amid fears of a future shortfall in global production as poor weather hit crop prospects in the European Union, Russian and Thailand. [SOF/L]

The dairy index climbed 0.9% on the month to a near 18-month high, driven in part by firmer butter and cheese prices.

The meat index also pushed up 0.9%, ending a run of nine consecutive monthly declines, but is down 13.7% on the year.

FAO revised down its forecast for the 2020 cereal season for a third month running, cutting it to 2.742 billion tonnes from a previous 2.75 billion tonnes. However, this still represents a record high and is 1.3% above last year's level.

"Looking further ahead, planting of the 2021 winter wheat crop in the northern hemisphere is underway, and sowings in several major producing countries are foreseen to increase driven by remunerative prices, although recent dry weather could curb planting expansions and hinder yields," FAO said.

The forecast for world cereal utilisation in 2020/21 was put at 2.744 billion tonnes, little changed from the previous estimate and up 1.9% from the 2019/20 level.

The forecast for world cereal stocks by the close of seasons in 2021 was 866.4 million tonnes, down 9.6 million tonnes from the previous estimate posted last month.

"At this level, the global cereal stock-to-use ratio would decline from 31.8 percent in 2019/20 to 30.7 percent in 2020/21, a five-year low but still a relatively comfortable level," FAO said.

Reuters

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