ISLAMABAD - The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to increase the commercial borrowing guarantee limit of Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Limited (PIACL) by Rs13.585 billion.

The ECC chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi approved the proposal of Aviation Division to give bailout package to the PIA to bring it out of an abysmal crisis. The ECC approved a proposal to increase the commercial borrowing guarantee limit of PIACL by Rs13.585 billion. The bailout package would enhance sovereign guarantees limit from Rs162 billion to Rs175.6 billion, as national flag carrier is in deep financial constraints.

The federal government is continuously giving bailout packages to the PIA but its revenue had not increased yet. Accumulated losses of PIA had reached Rs400 billion and the airline suffered a loss of Rs40 billion in 2016 alone. The PIA’s debts swelled to Rs186.5 billion and its accumulated losses amounted to Rs316 billion.

In order to provide relief to the families of Shuhada (martyrs), the ECC approved a proposal to include words “and Shuhada Family Welfare Account” in clause (6) Part III and clause (36 A), Part IV of the Second Schedule to the Income Tax Ordinance 2001.

The ECC approved a proposal that minimum guaranteed price for the wheat crop 2017-18 may be maintained at the previous year’s level i.e Rs1300 per 40Kg. Supply of 20,000 Metric ton of wheat from Passco to United Nations World Food Programme for temporary dislocated persons of Fata was also approved.

Proposal to allocate 14.8 MMscfd gas (upto 8.0 MMscfd gas from Aminah gas field and upto 6.8 MMscfd gas from Ayesha North field) to M/s SSGC was approved.

The ECC also granted exemption from rule 43 of 1986 rules for development and production leases over Sara and Suri fields.

Approval of field development plan and grant of development and production lease for Mubarak block No. 2769-4 and Gambat block No. 2668-4 was also accorded by the ECC.

ECC approved a proposal of the Petroleum Division that 83.2 MMscfd (i.e upto 74 MMscfd gas from Shahdadpur, up to 2.2 MMscfd gas from Shahdadpur East and up-to 7 MMscfd gas from Shahdadpur West D&PL) be allocated/regularised to SSGCL as SSGC’s network already exists in the area and that gas from same block is already being supplied to the company.

The ECC also approved a proposal for construction of Machike-Tarujabba Oil Pipeline Project on BOT basis for the transportation of oil from Lahore to Peshawar. The construction of this pipeline would facilitate easy and inexpensive transportation of oil.

The ECC also granted exemption from the provisions of Section 7B of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 for recipients of profit on debt from Behbood Saving Certificates and Pensioners Benefit Accounts.