The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Monday decided against an immediate increase in gas prices, and left the final decision for Prime Minister Imran Khan to decide, sources said. According to a private TV channel, Finance Minister Asad Umar chaired an ECC meeting in Islamabad and a hike in gas tariff was mulled over. ”A final decision on the hike in gas prices will be taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan,” the sources said. “The ECC has prepared guidelines for an increase in gas tariff,” sources further added. Further, the ECC decided to provide fertiliser factories with 50 per cent local gas and 50 per cent LNG. “The LNG bills will be divided equally between the fertiliser companies and the government,” sources said while adding that all fertiliser companies will continue production on full capacity. “ECC has further decided to import fertilisers to meet the urea deficit.” “The volume of fertiliser imports will be decided later,” the sources said. Earlier on Wednesday, the ECC was informed that the country’s circular debt stood at Rs596 billion, following an increase of Rs30 billion in July. Another Rs582 billion was parked with the Power Holding Company under the STFF arrangements, hence bringing the total current liability to Rs1,188 billion, the Ministry of Energy, Power Division told the ECC in its detailed presentation based on data compiled up to July 31, 2018. The finance minister said that all the facts would be made public to make decision making a transparent and inclusive exercise. He also expressed displeasure over the issue of fertiliser pricing and its export, by the previous government, which was totally against the interests of farmer community. Moreover, the summary for Pakistan State Oil’s financial health and liquidity position was deferred as the issue was closely linked with circular debt. Published in Daily Times, September 11th 2018.