Pakistan energy sector circular debt hits highest level of history worth Rs 2303 billion

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Pakistan energy sector circular debt hits highest level of history worth Rs 2303 billion

The 52nd meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue was held at Parliament House, Islamabad, under the chairmanship of MNA, Mr. Faiz Ullah.

The Additional Secretary Power Division (M/o Energy) informed the Committee about the sector-wise circular debt.

He presented the numbers of current circular debt up to December 2020 and expected increase till June 2021, which were Rs. 2,303 billion and Rs. 2,587 billion, respectively. The Committee expressed its grave concern about increasing circular debt and directed the Power Division to furnish a comprehensive draft for controlling the increase in circular debt before submission to Cabinet.

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The Committee members were of the view that an increase in circular debt will create significant problems for the economy of the country, especially towards the smooth functioning of the industries. The Committee noted the increased flow of circular debt at Rs. 55 billion monthly and declared an alarming situation for the country.

The Committee discussed “The Post Office Cash Certificate (Amendment) Bill, 2020,” “The Post Office National Savings Certificates (Amendment) Bill, 2020,” and The Government Savings Bank (Amendment) Bill, 2020” (Government Bill).

The Secretary Ministry of Finance informed the Committee that in the backdrop of Judgment of the Hon. Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Federal Cabinet, inter-alia, decided that all Ministries and Divisions should, in consultation with Law & Justice Division, make amendments in respective Act/Rules and replace the words Federal Government with appropriate authority/authorities.

He also explained the causes for suggesting these changes in different sections of the Bills. The representative from M/o Law and Justice addressed concerned raised by the Honorable Members of the Committee in the previous meeting.

He informed that Committee could make the amendments in the specific section, where required. The Committee unanimously recommended that the said bills may be passed by the National Assembly. ------------------------------

The Committee deferred the agenda on the scrutiny of the budgetary proposals of the Revenue Division. However, the Committee unanimously passed the Budgetary Proposals presented by the Finance Division. The Committee expressed its concern on the proposals received from Finance Division relating to provinces and directed that these PSDP may be forwarded to concerned Ministries and M/o Planning, Development and Special Initiatives for their consideration.

The Honorable members and the representatives from the Ministry of Finance were of the stance that said provincials schemes have no application with Finance Division. The Committee expressed its displeasure for reflecting the same in the PSDP of Finance Division.

The meeting was attended by Mr. Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Mr. Ali Pervaiz, Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary, and Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar. The meeting was also attended by the senior officers from M/o Finance, Federal Board of Revenues (FBR), M/o Planning, Development, and Special Initiative, M/o Law and Justice, and SECP.

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