ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) today.
During the meeting, ECC also approved supply of 10,000 MT of wheat to World Food Program for Emergency Relief Operations and allowed import of wheat by the private sector for unlimited period after waiving different taxes and duties. ECC also directed to remove restrictions on the movement of wheat/ flour within the country and banned exports till next recommendations.
The following technical supplementary grants were approved by ECC:
- Rs. 3485 million for Ministry of Foreign Affairs for meeting the costs of the running of the foreign missions.
- Rs. 54,71,707 for Ministry of Law & Justice to pay the annual membership fee of different organizations.
iii. Rs. 250 million to NAB to meet its liabilities towards government of Punjab.
- Rs. 168,151,919 to Ministry of Interior for smooth working of the peacekeeping missions.
- Rs. 18.33 million for the privatization commission to meet its expenditure under various heads.
- Rs. 7,248.050 for Ministry of National Health services, Regulations & coordination for expanded program on immunization.
vii. Rs. 79 million was given to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to meets its various expenditures.
viii. Rs. 5 billion for the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund
- Rs 8.4 billion to BISP ( the amount was transferred by Govt. of Punjab for onward transfer to BISP beneficiaries in Punjab through Ehsaas program)
- Rs. 500 million for the ICT Administration for completing two projects
- Rs 450 million to ICT Administration for Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Program
xii. Rs 3369.62 million for Establishment Division to pay arrears of group Insurance of non-gazetted employees
In order to pay the risk allowance, equal to one pay to all health care workers performing duties related to COVID-19 in the Federal Government, decided by the Prime Minister as Chairman National Coordination Committee on COVID-19, in the meeting held on 26th March 2020, ECC approved an amount of Rs.480.556 million (financial impact from 1st April 2020 to 30th July 2020) to meet the requirement. The amount shall be provided out of Rs 50 billion of the Prime Minister’s Fiscal stimulus Package through technical supplementary grant. The amount shall be paid to 3432 employees of 10 health institutions of the Federal Government. The situation will be reviewed after 4 months for the continuity of the allowance.
ECC after reviewing the situation of Urea availability in the country and for making available for the upcoming sowing season, a committee was formed under the chairmanship of the Minister for Industries with representatives from National Food Security, Petroleum and Finance Division to review and recommend the appropriate Variable Contribution Margin.
On the earlier instructions of the ECC for the presentation of a report on wheat procurement by Provinces and PASSCO, ECC was briefed that so far PASSCO and Provincial Food Departments have procured a quantity of 6.5 million tons or 80% out of the assigned target of 8.25 million tons. PASSCO and KP government shall continue procurement till end June 2020. On the recommendation of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, ECC directed that Provincial Food Departments of KP and Balochistan to achieve their procurement targets as early as possible and Law Enforcement Agencies of the provinces to be sensitive against hoarding and keeping a vigilant check on price hike of flour and wheat.
In order to provide relief to small and medium enterprises during the ongoing pandemic situation, ECC approved the change in key terms of the Kamyab Jawan Program. Now instead of two tiers (100,000 to 0.5 mill and 0.5 million to 5 million) there will be three tiers of the loans; Rs. 100,000 to 1 million, Rs 1 million to 10 million, Rs 10 million to 25 million. Tier 1 loans shall be on the personal guarantee of the borrower whereas T2 and T3 loans shall be as per bank’s own credit policy. Government shall bear credit losses for principal portion only on the disbursed portfolios of the banks for T1 up to 50%. T2 up to20%, T3 up to 10% and the executing agencies shall be all commercial banks. Loan pricing was also changed for all three tiers (3%,4%, 5% respectively, bank pricing shall be KIBOR+400 BPS for all three tiers).
ECC also approved US$ 10.9 million for capital increase in Bangladesh operations of National Bank of Pakistan and for meeting the minimum capital requirements prescribed by the Central Bank of Bangladesh for the year 2019 and to create some cushion in equity for 2020. The proposal was submitted by Finance Division.
Electric Vehicle policy for 2-3 wheelers and Heavy Commercial Vehicles gets approval of the ECC. The policy was proposed by Ministry of Industries after consultation with various stakeholders from Engineering Development Board, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Climate Change, Ministry of science and Technology and others.
ECC also approved supply of 10,000 MT of wheat to World Food Program for Emergency Relief Operations and allowed import of wheat by the private sector for unlimited period after waiving different taxes and duties.