ECC approves Rs 2.532 billion Ramazan relief package

Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) Tuesday approved relief package for the Holy month of Ramazan 2012 whereby the prices of food items and edible commodities will be reduced by providing a subsidy of Rs. 2.532 billion. This subsidy on food items will be extended to the common people through the 5700 numbers of Utility Store Corporations in Pakistan. The package will issue the provision of relief to low income people at the doorstep living in the remote and far flung areas of the country. This relief package will be effective from 15 July, 2012 as Ramzan is to commence from 28 July. The subsidy will be Rs.6 on one kg of Atta, Rs.15 on ghee/oil and Rs.10 on each commodity of Dal Channa, Bason. Dates, Rice Baspati, Rice Sela, Rice Broken. This decision was taken in the Economic Coordination Committee of Cabinet, which was chaired by Federal Minister for Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh here Tuesday. On a summary moved by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources regarding policy guideline on “LPG air mix, CNG or LNG based pipeline distribution projects undertaken by the sui northern gas pipelines limited & sui southern gas company limited”, the ECC approved import of LPG equivalent to 250 tonnes with a cost computed on the basis of Weighted Average Cost of Gas. However, key decision of procurement methodology and tendering will be brought to ECC through a detailed presentation in the next meeting. ECC also requested law ministry to look further into the matter regarding price determination of LPG on monthly or six monthly basis. On a summary regarding donation of wheat to the food-poor and malnourished people of Pakistan through the World Food Programme on cost-sharing basis proposed by Ministry of National Food Security and Research, the ECC decided that Ministry of National Food Security and Research will come up in next meeting after having due consultation with World Food Programme on the said matter. There has been a lengthy discussion on the proposal of “Changes in Composition of Business Express”  moved by Ministry of Railways, in which Ministry contented that JV Partners have from the very outset failed to meet most of major contractual obligations like guaranteed revenue of Rs.3.19 million  that was to be paid in advance, a commitment that has never been fulfilled. In the same way, guaranteed revenue was to be paid in full whereas the JV Partners have been making part payments and so on. After detailed discussion, the Chairman ECC constituted a committee comprising Minister for Information, Chairman Board of Investment, Secretary Railways and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, which will look further into the matter. ECC also approved the summary for the increase in the amount of GOP sovereign guarantee from Rs.5.300 billion to Rs.19.150 billion in favour of local Banks syndicate as a time gap arrangement till extension/effectiveness of Foreign Loans and additional wavier of demurrage & detention charges Rs.856.591million - 425MW Nandipur Power Project. ECC also approved Natural Gas Load Management plan proposed by Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources but subject to approval from Prime Minister. The Ministry of Petroleum proposed in the above mentioned summary that supply of natural gas to power sector should be prioritized over supply to fertilizer sector after domestic sector  in the wake of current loadshedding in the country. The other summaries which were approved by ECC or “Revised Draft Low BTU Gas Pricing Policy, 2012”, “ Policy Package for Establishment of Economic Zones Including China-Pakistan Economic Zone (CPEZ)” and “Approval for Opening of Branch at Colombo, Sri Lanka a Request by National Bank of Pakistan”. For the first time, Minister for Information & Broadcasting attended the ECC meeting and gave his valuable suggestions.  Among others who attended the meeting were Minister for Water & Power, Minister for Law, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources,  Minister for Railways, DCPC, Sectaries from Finance, Water & Power, Petroleum & Natural Resources, Railways, Chairman BOI and other officials of the concerned ministries.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt