Govt set to approve increase in gas price as ECC meets today

ISLAMABAD: On the opening day of its two-week discussions with a staff mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government appeared set to increase gas rates from Feb 1 to placate the international lender into reducing revenue target for the current fiscal year.

On Monday, the cabinet division called members of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet to meet on Tuesday to take up “natural gas sales pricing FY2019-20 with effect from Feb 1, 2020” summary moved by the petroleum division.

Separately, the staff mission of the IMF had initial discussions with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) which reportedly sought a further downward reduction in revenue collection target for the current fiscal year in view of a massive Rs385 billion shortfall in the first seven months ending Jan 31, 2020.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told media persons that the talks between the IMF mission and the government team had begun. He said the IMF loan programme to Pakistan was continuing under which IMF was providing $6bn loan and extending support for economic reforms.

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