ECC approves Rs 17 billion financial package for PIA

ECC approves Rs 17 billion financial package for PIA

Islamabad (Staff Report): The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Monday approved a financial support package worth Rs17.022 billion for national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

The ECC meeting — chaired by Minister of Finance Asad Umar — also approved to allocate 10 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) gas from the Bitrism field to Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL).

Last month, the ECC decided against an immediate increase in gas prices and left the final decision to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

"The ECC chaired by Finance Minister Asad Umar has prepared guidelines for an increase in gas tariff," Chaudhry said. "The gas sector is in the worst situation," the information minister stressed.

Further, the ECC decided to provide fertiliser factories with 50 per cent local gas and 50 per cent LNG.

"The LNG bills will be divided equally between the fertiliser companies and the government," Chaudhry said while adding that all fertiliser companies will continue production on full capacity.

"ECC has further decided to import fertilisers to meet the urea deficit."

"The volume of fertiliser imports will be decided later," the informtion minister said.

Chaudhry continued, "Farmers are a very important part of the prime minister's economic policy."

Chaudhry blamed the previous PML-N government for the gas sector deficit, which he claimed has soared to Rs156 billion per annum.

"When the PML-N govt was formed in 2013, there wasn't even a rupee of deficit," he said. "But their experienced team allowed the deficit to grow to Rs156bn annually in the five years since."

The minister urged former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to explain how the deficits grew to such an extent when "he had claimed that there will be greenery (prosperity) everywhere" due to the deals he has signed.

Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has also been allocated 12MMCFD gas from the Dhok Hussain fields.