ISLAMABAD - The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Saturday approved a grant of Rs84 million for payment of four months (December 2014 to March 2015) salaries to the employees of Printing Corporation of Pakistan.

The ECC, which met under the chair of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, considered the proposal moved by the Cabinet Division seeking approval for grant of salaries to the employees of Printing Corporation of Pakistan. The chair remarked that it was a humanitarian issue and after consensus of the house accorded approval for grant of Rs. 84 million for payment of salaries.

The top economic decisions making body of the country, also considered and approved the proposal submitted by the Finance Division for allowing Attock Cement Pakistan Limited (ACPL) to remit $24 million for establishment of cement grinding unit in Basra, Iraq on account of equity investment starting from March 2015 onwards. The proposed investment venture is expected to bring foreign exchange through dividends repatriation and growth in clinker exports. As ACPL intends to hire 50% of its labour force from outside Iraq, the venture is expected to create employment opportunities for the Pakistanis.

The proposal presented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for allocation of gas from TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India) also received nod of  approval from the ECC.

Accordingly 75% (994 mmcfd) of the TAPI project gas will be allocated for M/s SNGPL keeping in view the shortfall in the northern system, while 25% (331mmcfd) would be allocated to M/s SSGCL. This would enable both the gas utilities to reduce the demand/supply gap on their systems.

ECC consented to the proposal submitted by the Finance Division for allowing equity investment (purchase of additional shares) of AED 8.239 million (approximately USD 2.3 million) in Ras Al-Khaima (RAK), UAE by RAK Ghani Glass Limited. The ECC also accorded approval to the proposal moved by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources allowing import of RLNG/LNG by fertilizer plants using SNGPL network with prior permission of the Ministry. The chair directed that the Ministries of Finance, Planning and Development, Water and Power, Industries & Production and Federal Board of Revenue may discuss the modalities of this proposal.

The proposal by Ministry of Defense Production for upgradation of grace period for the repayment of original amount of loan for Wah Brass Mills was also approved by the ECC. According to the approval loan grace period of 1.5 years shall start from 10th December 2013 the same date on which the sovereign guarantee was issued.

The chair again took a serious view of the lack of inter-ministerial coordination and issued instructions to all concerned officials to have detailed deliberations on their proposals before presenting them to the forum to facilitate the process of approval.