ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved a proposal based on a comprehensive four-year Circular Debt Capping Plan presented by the Power Division to address the flow of the circular debt through effective efficiency improvement measures and ensure an effective implementation of the National Electricity Policy 2019.

Under the plan that mainly addresses sector inefficiencies, discrepancies in tariff regime, fiscal allocations and government policy measures, planning and debt servicing of Power Holding Private Limited Loans, measures would be taken to improve power distribution collection.

As much as 100 percent collection by five distribution companies, reduction in line losses, rationalisation of subsidy allocations, reduction of running and permanent defaulters and reducing power sector flows to less than Rs75 billion per annum from the current level of Rs 465 billion per annum.

The ECC also asked for Chief Secretaries or their representatives from the provinces to be invited to attend the next ECC meeting, and directed the Ministry of Finance to present to the ECC a detailed presentation on the rising circular debt on the commodity operation which had already crossed Rs 450 billion.

The ECC also considered a set of proposals by the petroleum Division regarding provision of utilities, particularly the installation of gas connections, in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and after a detailed discussion on the various proposals presented by the Petroleum Division to provide necessary provisions of gas, electricity and other facilities at the SEZs, constituted a committee headed by Prime Minister’s Advisor on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood and including representatives from the Petroleum Division and the Board of Investment to resolve certain minor issues as pointed out during the discussion, and bring up the proposal in the next ECC meeting for a decision.

The ECC also took up a proposal by Power Division for grant of ECC approval for execution of amendment to the implementation agreement governing Thal Nova Power Thar Private Limited and Thar Energy Limited by increasing the time period for exercise of Government of Pakistan’s right to terminate the both projects from 400 days to 490 days.

The ECC was told that there was no financial implication involved in the proposal. The proposal was discussed in detail and in view of the scope of the agreement in question being global in nature, the ECC approved the proposal with a proviso that the Cabinet Division would take further input from the Planning Division and bring the matter back to ECC if there were substantive and fundamental issues requiring further discussion and any change in the ECC approval.