ISLAMABAD, July 1 (APP): The Economic Coordination Committee of the
Cabinet (ECC) Friday accorded approval in principle for transfer of all hydropower projects (based on BOOT model), being implemented under 2002 Power Policy, to the respective Provincial, Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Gilgit-Baltistan governments, after expiry of the term of the Implementation Agreement.

The ECC meeting, Chaired by Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, also considered proposals from Ministry of Water and Power, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Revenue Division.

The ECC approved enhancement of Water Use Charges (WUC) from Rs.
0.15/kwh to Rs. 0.425/kwh for all upcoming private sector hydropower projects being implemented under the 2002 Power Policy which have not yet achieved Financial Close.

It was decided that the WUC would be reviewed every five years to
determine if an increase is required.

On another proposal from the Ministry of Water and Power, the ECC
granted approval for authorizing Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) to sign amendment to the modified and re-stated power purchase agreement with Fauji Kabirwala Power Company.

The ECC on a proposal put up by the Ministry of Water and Power, approved grant of sovereign guarantee against financing facility of PKR 10.40 billion from local banks for interconnection of imported coal based 1320 MW power plants at Bin Qasim (near Karachi).

Considering the proposal submitted by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, the ECC allowed allocation of up to 9.5MMCFD gas from Badar-2 gas field to M/s SNGPL.

The price of gas would be as per the applicable Petroleum Policy. The decision has been taken keeping in view the request of SNGPL for allocation of gas from Badar-2 owing to increasing demand and supply gap on their system.

The ECC also approved proposal of Revenue Division for extending reduced withholding tax rate of 0.4% for non-filers up to 31st July 2016.