ECC announces crackdown against electricity theft


The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Monday announced to conduct a major crackdown against electricity theft.
Significant decisions were taken in a meeting of the committee headed by Finance Minister Asad Umar earlier today.
In addition to the crackdown against electricity theft, the ECC also agreed to sever all illegal electricity connections within three months. A decision to install prepaid electric meters was also taken. The committee also resolved to take immediate against power-sector defaulters including ministries and government departments. Furthermore, the ECC decided to immediately resume operations of fertiliser factories. It resolved that the domestic demand for fertiliser will be fulfilled from the presently-inoperative factories. In today’s meeting, the committee also said that the matter of circular debt will be presented before Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Earlier on August 29, the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet was informed that the amount of Circular debt is standing at Rs 596 billion with an increase of Rs. 30 billion in the last month. Ministry of Energy, Power Division gave a detailed presentation on the amount of piled up Circular Debt. According to the data compiled up to 31st July 2018 by the Ministry, it was brought to the notice of the ECC, that the amount of Circular debt is standing at Rs.596 billion with an increase of Rs. 30 billion in the last month (i.e. July), another Rs. 582 billion are parked with the Power Holding companies under the STFF arrangements. The total liability currently stands at Rs.1188 billion.
ECC has rejected a summary regarding increase in Gas tariff. Chairman ECC expressed displeasure on the issue of fertilizer pricing and its export, taken by the previous government which was totally against the interests of the farmer community. He said that the interest of the poor farmer should be the supreme motivation for taking such decisions.
The ECC was informed that the total requirement of fertilizer for the country for this sowing season would be around 600,000 tons. The ECC directed that a committee will be formed under the chairmanship of Advisor Industry and Production Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood to hold discussions with the local fertilizer industry to ascertain the total domestic production. The committee will present its recommendations in next ECC meeting following which the decision will be made regarding import of urea.—INP

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