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ECC approves technical supplementary grant of Rs180m.

Byline: Imran Ali Kundi

ISLAMABAD -- The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Tuesday approved technical supplementary grant of Rs180 million for engaging services of a consortium of banks for Pakistan Banao certificates (PBCs).

The ECC meeting, which was chaired by Finance Minister Asad Umar, discussed the summary of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) for seeking supplementary grant of Rs 180 million to pay a consortium of six banks engaged in marketing of PBCs. The top economic decisions making body of the country, the ECC, has approved the summary.

The government of Pakistan had launched the US dollars denominated Pakistan Banao Certificates on January 31, 2019 as an attractive investment opportunity for overseas Pakistanis. Banking facilities for the certificates are being provided by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The PTI led government had launched three-year and five-year Pakistan Banao Certificates (PBCs) for overseas Pakistanis with a minimum investment of US $500 on an annual rate of return of 6.25 percent and 6.75 percent respectively. Further incentives include exemptions from withholding tax and compulsory deduction of zakat. Investors will also have the option to encash the Certificates prematurely in Pak rupee without any deduction. The government is expecting to generate $300 to $500 million through this scheme till June 2019.

The government has now decided to make the marketing of PBC to attract more investment. According to the summary presented in ECC, at present, PBCs are being issued in scripless form through a secure dedicated website (www.pakistanbanaocertificates.gov.pk).

However, in order to maximize investments, there is a need to market PBS aggressively. For this purpose, the SBP invited Expression of Interest (EoI) from the banks. The SBP has selected a consortium of six banks namely, Habib Bank Limited (HBL), United Bank Limited (UBL), National Bank of Pakistan (NBP),Habib Metro, JS Bank and Standard Chartered Bank for marketing the certificates to the Pakistan diaspora. On the advice of State Bank of Pakistan, the services of these six banks have been engaged by the Ministry of Finance till June 30, 2019. The fee structure of the consortium is Rs 180 million or 0.75 per cent of the total value of PBS sold, whichever is higher. Any road show expenses and regulatory/ licence fee, if incurred, would be borne separately by the government.

Allocation of gas to SSGCL

The ECC has also decided to allocate up to nine mmcfd gas from Fazl field, Matiari district to SSGC. According to the summary presented in ECC, Fazl X-1 gas field is located in Hala Block in Matiari district, Sindh. The field is being operated by Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL's share is 65 per cent) in a Joint Venture (JV) with the Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL's share is 35 per cent).

The PPL has requested to allocate gas from Fazl X-1 discovery to the government nominated buyer SSGC. Petroleum Division has proposed that up to 9 mmcfd gas from Fazl X-1 may be allocated to SSGCL. The price of gas will be as per applicable Petroleum Policy. The ECC has also discussed the proposal of Ministry of Maritime Affairs on establishment of additional LNG terminal at Port Qasim. It gave instructions to expedite the matter and directed for completion of all formalities for setting up new terminal before next winter.

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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Mar 6, 2019
Words:598
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