Islamabad: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, chaired the meeting of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet today.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar , Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi, Adviser to the PM on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, SAPM on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, SAPM on Power Tabish Gauhar and Governor State Bank Dr. Reza Baqir participated in the meeting.
Ministry of Industries and Production presented three proposals related to the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) before the ECC. The ECC considered and approved the first proposal regarding continuation of general subsidy on five essential items through Utility Stores Corporation (USC) from 01.01.2021 to 30.06.2021 out of funds allocated under Prime Minister’s Relief Package-2020 in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic. Secondly, Ministry of Industries and Production proposed to approve re-allocation of Rs. 2.332 billion for ERP procurement and IT infrastructure for automation of stock management throughout the network of USCs. ECC approved in principle, with a direction to hold further consultation with the Ministry of Information Technology and Ministry of Finance for smooth implementation. Furthermore, it was decided that the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) would present a revised proposal after working out a specific percentage range(s) of differential from market prices for subsidizing essential commodities through Ministry of Industries and Production before next ECC meeting. The percentage range(s) would serve as a benchmark for subsidizing the essential commodities through Utility Stores Corporations, keeping in view, fluctuations in international commodity prices.
On Textiles and Apparel Policy 2020-25 by the Ministry of Commerce, the ECC decided to include SAPM on Power Tabish Gauhar in the sub-committee for detailed consultation on proposals related to the power sector which fall under the ambit of the Textile Policy. The Textiles and Apparel Policy 2020-25 would be presented before ECC in a couple of weeks.
Petroleum Division presented a summary before ECC to review the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and Dealers Margins on Petroleum Products. After due deliberation, the ECC decided that proposed rates for the increase would be considered after a detailed study by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). A sub-committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of SAPM on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood including SAPM on Power Tabish Gauhar, Minister for Planning Asad Umar and SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar as its members to evaluate outcome of the PIDE study and present a revised summary before ECC accordingly.
The ECC considered and approved another summary by the Power Division regarding Implementation Agreement, Supplemental Agreement and Power Purchase Agreement for 300 MW Cool Power Project at Gawadar.
On the recommendation of the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division), ECC approved allocation of 22MMCFD of gas to the SSGCL system from Sujjal-I, Sujawal-X-I and Aqeeq-I wells of Mari Petroleum Company Limited.
Secretary, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony presented the Zaireen Management Policy before ECC for consideration. The underlying rationale is to regulate, streamline and provide better facilities to Zaireen for performing religious obligations in an organized manner. The ECC approved the establishment of Ziarat Directorate Office at Quetta and Taftan at an estimated expenditure of Rs. 38.50 million. Moreover, ECC also considered the establishment of Ziarat Directorate Offices at Mashhad (Iran), Karbala and Baghdad (Iraq) and directed Ministry of Religious Affairs to seek formal consent / approval from the host countries through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
National Electricity Policy 2021 was placed before ECC by the Power Division. After detailed discussion, ECC referred the above policy to Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) for consideration with the advice that the policy may be referred back to ECC (with recommendations) if the subject falls in the domain of the ECC. The Committee further directed to take all Provinces on board during consultative process.
ECC also approved a Technical Supplementary Grant of Rs. 42 million in favour of National Program for Enhancing Command Areas in BARANI Areas (ICT Component) surrendered by the Ministry of National Food Security & Research.