The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Monday extended subsidised flat electricity and gas rates to the export sector for another year and cheaper power rates to all industrial consumers for the next six months on incremental consumption.
The ECC meeting presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, however, constituted a subcommittee to rationalise use of energy inputs and ensure that export industries do not misuse cheaper gas for internal power generation and further sale. It deferred a summary seeking recovery of about Rs50bn general sales tax and other fixed tariff from agriculture tubewell consumers.
While requesting the continuation of concessional rates of electricity and re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) to export-oriented sectors, the commerce ministry said the extension of subsidised flat rates was important for a sustained increase in exports by providing energy at regionally competitive rates.
For almost three years now, the government has been extending a mix of local gas and RLNG to export-oriented industry throughout the country at a fixed rate of $6.5 per unit (Million British Thermal Unit-MMBTU) and electricity initially at fixed rate of 7.5 cents per unit (Kilowatt hour-kWh) which was later increased to 9 cents per unit.