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OGRA

OGRA to determine LNG price monthly without public hearing

ISLAMABAD : The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) here on Thursday decided that Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) would determine the price of LNG on monthly basis without going through the process of public hearing and OGRA rules would be accordingly amended.

The ECC in its meeting chaired by Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here on Thursday considered and approved a number of proposals submitted by various ministries, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance here.

The ECC had detailed deliberations on the recommendations put forth by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural resources regarding exemption of taxes and duties on Gas Import Pipeline and LNG Project.

The ECC discussed treatment of other alternative fuels like diesel, HSFO etc. in this regard.

Chairman FBR opined that all imported fuels were paying requisite taxes.

Considering the same it was decided that LNG and imported Gas shall be treated like any other imported fuel and Taxes as applicable shall be paid.

In the proposal it was also contended that GOP vide its LNG policy had given a five year tax holiday to LNG terminal operators and owners under section 113 and section 113-C of the income tax ordinance 2001.

The FBR opined that tax holiday did not include article 113 of the income tax ordinance.

After considering input from all the members it was decided that a Tax Holiday should be treated as such and no tax should be levied, therefore the recommendation was approved.

On the point regarding exemption of customs duty and sales tax on lease of Floating Storage & Regasification Unit (FSRU), the Ministry of P&NR contended that FSRU was a new concept in Pakistan.

It received, stored and regasified LNG for onward supply and as such it should be considered as Plant & Machinery of a Floating LNG Terminal. The committee agreed with this point of view and advised FBR to consider it as plant and machinery in the existing SRO.

On another proposal put forth by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources on allocation, pricing of LNG and associated matters, the ECC decided that OGRA would determine the price of LNG on monthly basis without going through the process of public hearing.

The ECC decided that OGRA rules would be accordingly amended.

The ECC referred the matter regarding re-allocation of RLNG to Fauji Kabirwala Power Plant by equivalent reduction from KAPCO, allocation to Rousch Power by allocation from Nandipur power plant along with other issues concerning treatment of transportation charges as non-operating income for both the gas companies, to a Committee comprising Finance Secretary, Secretary P&NR, Secretary Water and Power and Member Gas, OGRA for deliberations.

In case of disagreement, the Committee would revert to the ECC.

The ECC allowed extension in deadline for export of sugar (up to 650,000 MT) till July 15, 2015.

It may be recalled that the Committee had earlier approved for export of this quantity of sugar by May 15.

The Ministry of Commerce in its fresh proposal Thursday stated that due to lengthy procedural requirement for export, contracts only for 323,466 MT could be registered till March 27 2015.

The Ministry further pleaded that apparently it would not be possible to export the remaining quantity by May 15, 2015. Accordingly, the ECC allowed extension in the export period.

The ECC on a proposal submitted by the Finance Division allowed Fatima Fertilizer Company, Pakistan to undertake equity investment in fertilizer manufacturing plant in USA, namely Midwest Fertilizer Corporation, through floating an international bond for USD 300 million.

On a proposal from Ministry of Water and Power, the ECC allowed NTDC to carry out tariff adjustment for Davis Energen Ltd as admissible under Power Purchase Agreement and the 1994 Power Policy. David Energen Pvt. Ltd is a 10.5 MW gas fired power project which was set up under the 1994 Power Policy.

Similarly on a proposal from the Ministry of Ports & Shipping, Tax holiday period for Gwadar Port and the Gwadar Port free zone was extended by ECC from 20- 23 years as requested by China Overseas Port Compnay Ltd. (COPC The Gwadar Port Authority Board in its meeting held on January 1 had recommended that Tax Holiday of 23 years instead of 20 years may be allowed to as described in the Concession agreement in order to attract national and foreign investors and to enhance the overall FDI through Gwadar Port Authority.

The ECC also approved public sharing of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources Monitoring & Evaluation Report by placing it on the Ministry of P&NR website.

APP

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