- Pr0m0ting the use and manufacturing 0f electric 2-3 wheelers and heavy c0mmercial vehicles;
- Techn0l0gy acquisiti0n;
- Enc0uraging EV manufacturing;
- Mitigating negative aspects 0f climate change thr0ugh vehicle emissi0n reducti0n;
- Empl0yment generati0n thr0ugh new investments;
- A reducti0n in 0il imp0rt bill; and
- Usage 0f excessive electricity, etc.
Pakistan has been urged by International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Freeze the salaries of government employees in a bid to reduce the budget deficit. This is termed as fiscal consolidation by IMF.
Public debt is set to hit 90% of national economy and it is in the best interest of Pakistan to follow fiscal consolidation path insists IMF.
After four to five years, Pakistani economy struggles with fiscal and current account deficit and this time coronavirus has exposed the vulnerability of Pakistani economy.
Owing to the prevailing tight fiscal situation, growing public debt and Pakistan’s decision to seek debt relief from G20 countries, the IMF was asking Islamabad to freeze salaries of government employees, said sources in the Ministry of Finance.
However, the government is resisting the demand due to high inflation that has eroded people’s real income.
Nonetheless, it is inclined to abolish over 67,000 posts that have remained vacant for over one year and is also ready to further squeeze current expenditures including a ban on purchase of vehicles.
The proposal of ending the car monetisation allowance for grade-20 to 22 officers also came under discussion in the Ministry of Finance but it was unlikely to be implemented at the current stage.
The IMF’s key demand, which was also the reason for seeking to freeze the salaries, was that the government should announce a primary budget deficit target – total deficit excluding interest payments – of only Rs184 billion or 0.4% of gross domestic product (GDP).
Gas crisis in the country has been mitigated by the government but this at the cost of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL). Imported gas which normally is expensive has been advised by the government to be diverted to domestic consumers in the last two winter seasons and this has cost the SNGPL Rs.73 billion of the shortfall.
Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority revise the gas prices of natural gas for domestic consumers on six months basis whereas, the notification regarding re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) sale price to SNGPL is produced every month.
At present, there is no mechanism in place to recover RLNG from domestic consumers.
Sale price domestic consumers pay for gas is Rs.350 per unit while, on the other side, it cost SNGPL Rs.1700 for each unit delivered to the consumer. This accumulatively has piled up Rs.73 billion of tariff differential.
Due to the diversion of RLNG gas to consumers, the Petroleum Division has approached the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), to recover the difference from domestic costumers.
The severe weather and shortage of supply from gas fields have compounded the shortfall in revenue and because to meet the demand the diversion was recommended without pricing mechanism to recover the cost, this has led to the loss of revenue. A mechanism should be in place to recover this shortfall from domestic consumers on a monthly basis.
As per the monthly diversion of RLNG to domestic consumers, it was proposed to ECC that SNGPL should be provisionally allowed to recover the cost accordingly.
Officials recommended the weighted average price of RLNG and locally produced gas prices to improve supply but this was denied by provinces.
Under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a tripartite agreement has been signed between China Three Gorges Corporation, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government and Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB). Under this agreement 1124-megawatt, Kohala hydroelectric power project in AJK will be established.
Once implemented, this project will provide clean and low-cost electricity to five billion units in AJK and Pakistan. This investment worth $2.4 billion will be the largest investment of its kind in the region.
102-megawatt Gulput project, located at Pounch river in district Kotli, AJK has met its commercial operation date.
For sustainable and reliable energy in the region, the government is committed to prioritizing renewable energy, hydroelectric power, and indigenous coal-based projects, Umar Ayub federal Minister for power revealed this on this occasion of 127th meeting of PPIB.
It was informed during the meeting that a coal-based power generation at Thar will get extension after pandemic settles down.