ISLAMABAD - Apart from approving Ramazan relief package, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Friday also approved to issue Term Finance Certificates (TFCs) worth of Rs 31 billion to help Pakistan State Oil (PSO) avoid a further default on international obligations.

“The ECC has approved the summary of Ministry of Water and Power for issuance of sovereign guarantee by Ministry of Finance in respect of indicative terms and conditions for syndicated term finance facility up to Rs.31 billion for the power sector”, said an official handout released by the Finance Ministry.

The ECC, which met under the chair of Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, has considered the summary of Ministry of Water and Power to issue sovereign guarantee. A source informed the PSO reportedly was defaulted to the tune of Rs 100 billion on international payments. The government is likely to release Rs 31 billion in next few days, as it already released Rs 20 billion few days before to the power sector to reduce the loadshedding.

The top economic decisions making body of the country has also approved the Ramazan Relief Package 2014 for up to Rs.2 billion.

The government would provide the basic essential commodities at subsidize rates at state run Utility Stores Corporation (USC). The subsidy to be provided on Atta is Rs.6/kg, ghee/oil Rs.10/kg, Dalls channa, Moong Mash, Msoor Rs.10/kg each, while Gram Rs.10, Baisen (Chakki) Rs.10/kg, Dates Rs.10/kg, Rice Sella Rs.10/kg, Broken Rice Rs.10/kg, Squashes & Syrups Rs.10/kg, Black Tea Rs.50/kg, Milk (Tetra Pack) Rs.10/litre and Spices 10pc. Effective date of Ramazan Relief Package will be from 23rdJune, 2014.

The ECC was informed by Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources that recently the Mari Petroleum Company Ltd. has discovered additional gas in Pirkoh formation of Mari D&P Lease area and based on the initial test results and broad assessment of reservoirs size/ potential, approximately 06MMCFD is projected to be available for supply at its natural specs (raw gas) and pressure for an estimated initial period of 18 months.

ECC gave approval to the proposal that 06MMCFD gas which will be available for an estimated period of 18 months, to be allocated to Thermal Power Station Guddu (TPSG) of Wapda being in the vicinity of MPCL’s field and capable to off-take the gas readily.The meeting was also attended by Khawaja Mohammad Asif, Minister for Water and Power, Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi, Minister for Industries and Production, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Zahid Hamid, Minister for Science and Technology, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Minister for National Food Security, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Minister for Railways, Ms. Anusha Rehman Khan, MOS for I.T & Telecom, Federal Secretaries and senior officials of the government.