Finance Minister Miftah Ismail chairing a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee at the Finance Division. — PID/file

ECC to decide today on weekly fixation of petrol price

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Finance Minister Miftah Ismail chairing a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee at the Finance Division. — PID/file

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet is likely to give node to review the prices of petroleum prices on a week-on-week basis on Thursday (today), which was one of the preconditions for the release stalled $6 billion IMF bailout package.

As per the agenda of ECC’s today meeting, matters relating to weekly fixation of petroleum prices, financing facility for Pakistan State Oil (PSO), and oil marketing companies’ margin on petrol and diesel would come under discussion in the important huddle.

The ECC will also decide on $142 million financing facility for the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and the price of imported Urea.

Earlier, the prices of petroleum products were revised by the government on a fortnight basis.

Sources privy to the matter said that the step is being taken to pass on the impact of oil’s international prices to consumers immediately.

It is pertinent to mention here that the fuel prices were revised on monthly basis in the country but the PTI-led government had reduced the period to a fortnight.

All prior conditions met

Pakistan has fulfilled all the prior actions for the combined seventh and eighth reviews for the revival of the $6 billion loan programme, according to a statement by IMF Resident Representative in Islamabad Esther Perez Ruiz on August 2.

The IMF official said that the country increased the petroleum development levy (PDL) on July 31 as per the agreement reached with the Washington-based lender.

The federal government had revised the prices of petroleum products for the next fortnight from August 1, increasing the PDL on petrol by Rs10-20 and diesel by Rs5-10 per litre.

IMF Pakistan chief Esther Perez Ruiz said that the Fund’s Executive Board meeting will be held at the end of August if adequate funding is assured to Pakistan.

The IMF approval is subject to assurances of funding of $4 billion from Pakistan’s friendly countries, sources said.

Pakistan had reached the staff-level agreement with the IMF earlier this month amid the country’s dwindling forex reserves and a worsening economy.

The delay in the revival of the loan programme coupled with political uncertainty has sparked fear of default, however, Finance Minister MIftah Ismail had assured the nation multiple times that the financing needs are met.

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