Petroleum levy to go up Rs4.95 per month

Dunya News

Minister for Energy Hamad Azhar hinted at increasing the power tariff in coming months.

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Following an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), federal government on Monday announced that the petroleum development levy (PDL) will increase Rs4.95 every month.

This was announced by Advisor to the PM on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin and Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar at a press conference in Islamabd on Monday.

The adviser on finance said that the Petroleum Development Levy (PDL) on petrol will have to be increased by Rs 4.95 per month.

The tariff will be increased by Rs 4.95 while the petroleum development levy has to be increased up to Rs 30.

Tarin said that the IMF has appreciated Pakistan  reforms in various sectors. He said the IMF emphasises on bringing transparency to the governance of State Owned Enterprises, easing tax laws, and focusing on targeted subsidy. He said the IMF appreciated the Ehsas Program and Kamyab Jawan Program.

He said the IMF has also recommended some prior actions, including imposition of petroleum levy, rationalization of the State Bank of Pakistan act, audit of Covid-19 pandemic expenditure, and the detail of beneficial owners of anti-Covid vaccine manufacturing companies. He said the government will have to raise the petroleum levy per by four rupees litre in every quarter.

Minister for Energy Hamad Azhar also hinted at increasing the power tariff in the coming months.

He said there will be no impact on winter package and industrial tariff as a result of prior action recommended by the IMF.

The minister further said perhaps, we will have to increase electricity tariff in next few months. He expressed the hope that there will be more economic stability after this program.

Electricity tariff

On the other hand, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) is likely to increase the price of electricity up to Rs4.75.

The Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) had submitted an application under monthly fuel adjustment.

A total of 11,296GWh electricity was generated worth Rs 105.06 billion during the said period while 10,982.86 GWh net electricity was supplied to the power distribution companies (DISCOs).

Out of total generation, as many as 23.26 per cent electricity was generated from hydel, 16.69 per cent Coal, 0.51 per cent high speed diesel, 10.88 per cent furnace oil, 9.67 per cent local gas, 23.93 per cent RLNG, 12.33 per cent nuclear and 1.64 per cent Wind.

The hike will put an additional burden of billions of rupees on already suffering people. NEPRA will hear the plea on November 30.

IMF agreement 

Meanwhile, Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had reached a staff-level agreement on revival of $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

“The Pakistani authorities and IMF staff have reached a staff-level agreement on policies and reforms needed to complete the sixth review under the EFF,” read a statement issued by the Fund.

“The agreement is subject to approval by the Executive Board, following the implementation of prior actions, notably on fiscal and institutional reforms. Completion of the review would make available SDR 750 million (about US$1,059 million), bringing total disbursements under the EFF to about US$3,027 million and helping unlock significant funding from bilateral and multilateral partners.

An additional SDR 1,015.5 million (about US$1,386 million) was disbursed in April 2020 to help Pakistan address the economic impact of the COVID-19 shock.”

Despite a difficult environment, the IMF noted that progress continues to be made in the implementation of the EFF-supported programme. All quantitative performance criteria (PCs) for end-June were met with wide margins, except for that on the primary budget deficit, it added.

“Notable achievements on the structural front include the finalization of the National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) update, parliamentary adoption of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Act Amendments, notification of all pending quarterly power tariff adjustments, and payment of the first tranche of outstanding arrears to independent power producers (IPPs) to unlock lower capacity payments fixed in renegotiated power purchase agreements (PPAs),” the statement said.

“The authorities have also made progress in improving the anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework, although some additional time is needed to strengthen its effectiveness.

On the macroeconomic front, available data suggests that a strong economic recovery has gained hold, benefiting from the authorities’ multifaceted policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has helped contain its human and macroeconomic ramifications.

The Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) tax revenue collection has been strong. At the same time, external pressures have started to emerge: a widening of the current account deficit and depreciation pressures on the exchange rate—mainly reflecting the compound effects of the stronger economic activity, an expansionary macroeconomic policy mix, and higher international commodity prices.

In response, the authorities have started to adjust policies, including by gradually unwinding COVID-related stimulus measures. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has also taken the right steps by starting to reverse the accommodative monetary policy stance, strengthening some macroprudential measures to contain consumer credit growth, and providing forward guidance.

In addition, the government plans to introduce a package of fiscal measures targeting a small reduction of the primary deficit with respect to last fiscal year based on: (i) high-quality revenue measures to make the tax system simpler and fairer (including through the adoption of reforms to the GST system); and (ii) prudent spending restraint, while fully protecting social spending.

These policies will help safeguard the positive near-term outlook, with growth projected to reach, or exceed, 4 percent in FY 2022 and 4.5 percent the fiscal year after that.

However, inflation remains high, although it should start to see a declining trend once the pass-through of rupee depreciation is absorbed, and temporary supply-side constraints and demand-side pressures dissipate. However, the current account is expected to widen this fiscal year despite some export growth, reflecting the rising import demand and international commodity prices. However, this economic outlook continues to face elevated domestic and external risks, while structural economic challenges persist.”