ISLAMABAD - The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Saturday gave approval to import wheat and urea to bridge the shortfall in the country.

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail presided over meeting of the ECC of the Cabinet at Finance Division. Ministry of National Food Security and Research submitted a summary on modalities framed for import of 3.00 MMT of wheat in the light of the decisions of the ECC of the Cabinet on 09-05-2022 and Federal Cabinet on 10-05-2022. The ECC, after discussion, allowed import of 2 MMT on G2G basis while 1 MMT through international tendering process under the existing arrangement. PASSCO will be the recipient agency for the imported wheat. The ECC further directed the MNFS&R to get the requirements of wheat by the provincial governments.

On another summary of Ministry of National Food Security & Research for Ramzan Package Subsidy on wheat flour- bridge financing facility for Punjab Food Department, the ECC decided that in case subsidy is not approved by the Punjab Cabinet, the shortfall will be bridged by the federal government but Govt. of Punjab will ensure that provincial cabinet approves the package as soon as its meeting is convened.

The ECC also approved a summary submitted by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission for grant of extension in the construction period of K-2 from 30th November, 2020 to 21st May 2021 and K-3 from 30th September 2021 to 18th April, 2022 for ensuring disbursement of pending loan of USD 383 million (approx.) before expiry of loan availability on 03-06-2022 from Exim Bank, China to the contractor, who has already completed the project.

Ministry of Industries and Production submitted a summary on the continuation of PM relief package – 2020 for the months of May and June, 2022 through USC. The ECC after deliberation allowed continuation of existing subsidy for two weeks on essential commodities (Atta, sugar, rice, and pulses), and Rs. 100/kg subsidy on Ghee at USC. Finance Division will also release the outstanding amount on account of subsidy under PM Relief Package – 2020 approved by the ECC for the previous months.

Ministry of Industries and Production submitted another summary on Chinese offer for import of Urea by TCP on G2G basis. ECC after deliberation allowed TCP to import 200,000 MT Granular Urea from China on G2G basis on deferred payment basis within 90 days.

Ministry of Economic Affairs submitted a summary on exemption from all kinds of taxes and duties on the complete portfolio being executed by the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD). In Pakistan, SFD is providing assistance for various projects including energy, health, education, and infrastructure projects. The ECC, considering the comments of FBR on the subject, suggested that tax exemption clause for SFD may be inserted in the Money Bill considering strong and strategic relationship between Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, encompassing economic cooperation and investment.

Ministry of Commerce submitted a summary on duty structure on import of edible palm oil. The ECC allowed removing 2% Additional Custom Duties on import of palm oil for shipments originating from all sources except Indonesia for 10-20 June, 2022, subject to approval of Federal Cabinet.

The ECC also approved following technical supplementary grants/supplementary grants: Rs 62.27 billion for Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) for making payment of PDC to OMCs refineries for the second fortnight of May 2022; Rs 7, 555, 59 million for Federal Directorate of Immunization (FDI) under administrative control of MNFS&R.; Rs. 2.44 billion in favor of Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith harmony for grant of one-time support to Pilgrims under government Hajj Scheme; Rs 107.84 million in favor of Ministry of Interior for maintaining law and order situation; Rs. 200 million as grant-in-aid for Ministry of Law and Justice; Rs. 53.912 million and Rs. 280.00 million in favor of Ministry of Housing and Works; Rs 50 billion in favor of Power Division with condition that the requisite funding will be provided against future subsidy claims; and transfer of Rs. 24 billion to BISP from Ministry of PA&SS.

Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mehmood, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Abdul Shakoor, Minister of State for Finance & Revenue Dr. Aisha Ghous Pasha, Minister of State for Petroleum Division Musadik Masood Malik, federal secretaries and senior officers attended the meeting.