ISLAMABAD - The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday approved a summary of Ministry of Water and Power that would put additional burden on the electricity consumers, as they would have to pay interest rate on the loan taken by power generation companies.

The ECC, which met under the chair of Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, has approved a summary of Ministry of Water & Power for issuance of policy guidelines to Nepra to incorporate debt servicing on actual basis in revenue requirements of Distribution Companies which would be adjusted in tariff of Discos on annual basis. Sources informed that the decision would result in increase in cost of electricity for the honest consumers of the country.

The ECC also approved the summary of the Ministry of Water & Power for issuance of policy guidelines to Nepra to rationalise T&D losses target of 12.82pc to 15.75pc on a same anology as done for the tariff for the FY/2012-13. It may be mentioned that the DISCOs claim T&D losses of 17.55pc for the year 2013-14. The Minister for Water & Power informed the ECC that the government in the last one year has improved in recovery and containing line losses up to the extent of 2pc and will continue to make progress in this regard.

ECC considered and approved allocation of gas from SARA and SURI gas fields located in district Ghotki Sindh to GENCO-II at mutually agreed terms and conditions. It may be mentioned that the gas fields remain dormant due to lack of investment. It is estimated that 14-15 BCF gas reserves are lying in the gas field and it requires investment costing around $6-8 million.

ECC also approved a summary for re-allocation of low BTU gas from Bahu gas field to Fauji Kabirawala power company limited (FKPCL).Keeping in view the prevalent electricity crisis in the country and higher dispatch order low BTU gas from Bahu Gas Field will be allocated to project for remaining term of its PPA i.e. 29th October 2029, to ensure its smooth operation and to avoid conversion of the project on any expensive alternate liquid fuel, which would be an unaffordable option given the energy mix scenario in the country.

The ECC also approved the summary of the Revenue Division for transfer of tax exemption given to PSA Gwadar Pvt Limited as per ECC decision in case No.13/1/2007 dated 1-2-2007 to China Overseas Ports Holding Company Limited for the remaining period of the term.

ECC also approved the summary of Revenue Division for exemption from income tax to profits and gains derived by coal mining projects in Sindh supplying coal to power generation projects only.

The meeting was also attended by Pervez Rasheed, Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Khawaja Asif, Minister for Water & Power, Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning & Development, Zahid Hamid, Minister for Science and Technology, Abbas Khan Afridi, Minister for Textile Industry, Ms. Anusha Rehman, Minister of State for IT, Muhammad Zubair, Chairman Privatisation Commission, Federal Secretaries and senior officials.