Sunday, September 25, 2022

ECC okays amendments to laws to spur oil exploration, production

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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved amendments to a host of rules governing the regulation of upstream petroleum sector to foster ease of doing business and encourage investment in the sector.

The approval was granted in the ECC meeting held in Islamabad on Wednesday with Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the chair.

The meeting approved amendments in eighteen laws and 25 legal procedures with the aim to simplify and facilitate investments in oil exploration and production. The amendments in the laws were proposed by the Energy Task Force and other stakeholders.

The ECC also approved incorporation of similar amendments in Pakistan Petroleum (Production) Rules 1949, Pakistan petroleum (Exploration and Production) Rules 1986, Pakistan Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Rules 2001 and Pakistan Onshore Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Rules, 2009 which would be notified after formal vetting by the Law & Justice Division.

The ECC also took up a proposal by FBR and approved a technical supplementary grant to the tune of Rs 30 billion for the redemption of bonds issued by the “FBR Refund Settlement Company Limited” to the tune of Rs 30 billion, and payment of sales tax refunds by FBR in the form of cheques in accordance with the prescribed rules.

The ECC discussed the proposal in detail and constituted a seven-member high-level committee headed by Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production Abdul Razak Dawood to review the proposal and submit its recommendations to ECC within two weeks.

The ECC also approved a proposal by the Commerce Division for declaration of the erstwhile zero-rated sectors, namely Textiles (including jute), carpets, leather, sports and surgical goods as “Export Oriented Sectors, which includes Textiles, Carpets, Leather, Sports and Surgical Goods”.

The ECC also considered and approved for execution of amendment to the implementation agreements in relation to Thal Nova Power Thar Private Limited and Thar Energy Limited.

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