ECC approves TAPI Gas Sale Purchase Agreement
* Committee also approves import of 0.3 million tonnes of urea, Rs 15.6 billion subsidy on sale of urea to farmers
By Sajid Chaudhry
ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Thursday approved signing of Gas Sales Purchase Agreement (GSPA) for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.
The committee, which met under Federal Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, also considered various summaries moved by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Ministry of Industries.
The ECC approved import of 300,000 tonnes of urea for the coming kharif season against a proposal of 600,000 tonnes.
The committee also directed the ministries and divisions concerned to ensure “balanced” use of the port facility in Gwadar to generate revenue for Balochistan.
According to official sources, the government also decided to provide a Rs 15.6 billion subsidy to farmers on urea fertiliser. A 50kg urea bag that costs the government Rs 2,904 would be sold to farmers for Rs 1,304 – after a subsidy of Rs 1,300 per bag.
The ECC was told that a steering committee, headed by Water and Power Minister Naveed Qamar, was determining the cost of gas pipeline.
The ECC asked the petroleum minister to make a presentation to the steering committee and member ministers of ECC about the project. The steering committee should meet regularly, Shaikh asked the committee members.
Regarding the summary for pursuing international exploration appointments by the Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), the ECC directed the ministry concerned to follow the existing procedure prescribed under FE Circular No12 of the State Bank of Pakistan.
On another summary on ‘Financing of Gas Infrastructure Development Schemes’, the ECC backed the decision of the Energy Conference, which was held on April 9, to put a ban on new connections.
The ECC also approved in principle the proposal regarding “amending the policy guidelines on LPG Air Mix, CNG or LNG-based pipeline distribution projects undertaken by the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited & Sui Southern Gas Company Limited”.
However, the ECC constituted a sub-committee consisting of Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Asim Hussain, the Planning Commission deputy chairman and secretaries of finance, Economic Affairs Division and petroleum to further deliberate on the economic costing as well as the impact of final consumer price before implementing the policy. The committee will present its recommendation to the ECC.
The meeting was attended by Asim Hussain, Naveed Qamar, Minister for Port and Shipping Babar Ghauri, Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Textiles Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin, the Planning Commission deputy chairman and secretaries from the ministries and divisions concerned.