Rs134.9 bn okayed for IPPs


ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet Tuesday approved releasing Rs134.783 billion to the independent power producers (IPPs) as the second instalment (60pc) as per the payment mechanism.

The amount is likely to be transferred to the IPPs by Dec 3, added the sources. According to sources, Hubco would receive Rs34.80 billion, Kapco Rs59.40 billion, Rousch Rs8.50 billion, Fauji Rs2.637 bn, Pak Gen Power Rs9.80 billion and Lalpir Rs9.30 billion, Rs3 billion to KEL, Rs1 billion to Saba Power and Rs2.10 billion to FFC.

Also, the federal cabinet approved the summary of the health ministry and fixed prices of 38 drugs related to corona, diabetes and cancer and lifesaving drugs. The federal cabinet meeting was held here in which the prices of medicines were discussed in detail. The cabinet considered the summary that was sent by the federal health ministry and approved it unanimously.

According to the sources, the prices of new salt formulation, and energy drugs were also fixed in the meeting. The cabinet meeting also approved gas management plan for the current winter season.

The meeting approved sanctioning of Rs35 billion from the Asian Development Bank funding for the purchase of corona vaccine. The ADB had approved a $500 million loan to procure coronavirus vaccines.

The Manila-based lender had approved the loan to support Pakistan’s National Deployment and Vaccination Plan by purchasing and delivering an estimated 39.8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, safety boxes and syringes, according to an ADB handout.

Later, briefing the media about the cabinet meeting decisions. Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the next elections would be held with the help of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and nine million overseas Pakistanis would also use their right to vote in the elections.

The minister said that the cabinet has constituted a committee to talk to the Election Commission regarding EVMs to determine “how many machines are required for holding elections, how much will be spent and we will provide technical assistance”.

He said the PMLN should be grateful to the PTI government because for the first time Nawaz Sharif’s sons would also be eligible to vote in the next elections. Replying to a question, he said the PTI had provided all related details to the Election Commission on foreign funding and now the electoral body should ask the Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and other parties about their sources of funding. He alleged that Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari had used their respective parties for money laundering.

The minister lamented the criticism of the media that when the prices of sugar and tomatoes go up, the headlines are flashed, but when those go down, people should still be informed that sugar was currently being sold at Rs 90-95/kg. And in the next 10 to 15 days, the price would come down to Rs 85 per kg.

The minister said the biggest problem was being faced in Sindh, especially Karachi. After the 18th Amendment, the problem was that the federal government could only make policy; it was up to the provinces to implement it. The centre when told Sindh to release wheat, they did not do so. When they were asked to release sugar, they did not release sugar, he claimed.

He pointed out that 40pc of the data released on inflation in the country was based on Karachi prices. Unfortunately, Karachi has higher prices than the whole of Pakistan. The 20-kg flour bag is being sold for Rs1,441 in Karachi, while in Lahore, its price is Rs1,100 and price of sugar is also higher there.

Fawad said the Ministry of Finance had also briefed the cabinet about the details of the IMF package while a briefing had also been given on the vacancies in the Federal Ministry of Education and Industry and Production.

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