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ECC directs food ministry to accelerate efforts for wheat import

ECC directs food ministry to accelerate efforts for wheat import

ISLAMABAD: In order to ensure the availability of wheat and flour in the country throughout the year at affordable prices, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Wednesday directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to accelerate efforts for wheat imports.

The meeting was chaired by Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh at the Prime Minister’s office.

According to a press statement, ECC directed the food ministry to hold meetings with the major importers of wheat at the earliest and come up with proposals.

The food ministry briefed the ECC that combined together the Provincial governments and PASSCO have already achieved 79% of their procurement targets while more than 120 importers have so far shown interest to import wheat in the country.

It was also assigned by the ECC that provincial governments, Trade Corporation of Pakistan and PASSCO may arrange wheat imports as soon as possible to avoid shortages any time during the year.

ECC also allowed the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to issue offshore Pakistan Rupee Linked Bonds for international investors subject to completion of all codal formalities.

The program, according to the recommendation of SBP, shall be restricted to maximum of US$200 million. The local currency proceeds of the Bonds would be used for financing long term infrastructure and energy projects in Pakistan.

The ECC also allowed Finance Division to release Rs1 billion to SSGCL for undertaking gas supply to localities/ villages falling within 5 KM radius of gas fields in order to comply with the Supreme Court and High court decisions.

For the implementation of the E-office program, ECC directed the Ministry of Information Technology and FIA to withdraw complaint against LMKR as well as withdrawal of all inquiries by FIA on projects of LMKR subject to fulfillment of agreement clauses.

Five projects of different types of development work in North West Industrial Zone and South West Industrial Zone by Port Qasim Authority with their own funds were also approved by the ECC.