ECC allows regulatory cover to barter trade with Afghanistan, Iran

The cabinet committee allowed Ministry of Industries and Production to build strategic reserves of sugar to avoid price variation/hike in prices in future

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ISLAMABAD, The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet here on Thursday allowed the regulatory cover to barter trade arrangements with Afghanistan and Iran by amending relevant provisions of Export Policy Order (EPO) 2020 and Import Policy Order (IPO) 2020.

The summary for granting regulatory support for establishing barter trade arrangements with the two neighboring countries was presented by the Ministry of Commerce before ECC, the meeting of which was chaired by Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam; Federal Minister for Economic Affairs; Omar Ayub Khan, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Farrukh Habib; federal secretaries and other senior officers.

The cabinet committee allowed the Ministry of Industries and Production to build strategic reserves of sugar to avoid price variation/hike in prices in the future.

Accordingly, the federal government would purchase 0.30 million metric tons of sugar and provincial governments of Punjab and Sindh would purchase 0.20 million metric tons of sugar for strategic reserves from sugar mills in the current crop year when the prices are lower in the local market.

On another summary presented by the Ministry of Industries and Production regarding the continuation of un-targeted subsidy on five essential commodities i.e Atta, Ghee, Sugar, Rice and Pulses, the ECC after discussion allowed the continuation of subsidy on five essential items for the period from 24 to 28 of February 2022 and for the month of March 2022.

Further, the chair directed the Utility Stores Corporation to seek the guidance of the Ministry of Law and Justice on the continuation of subsidy on these items for the initial 23 days of February.

At the request of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, ECC allowed the withdrawal of its earlier summary for 50,000 MT wheat to Afghanistan and granted permission for already provided 6627 M Tons of Wheat worth Rs. 0.67 billion to Afghanistan.

Ministry of National Food Security and Research presented another summary on fixation of PASSCO’s wheat procurement targets along with cash credit limits. The ECC assigned PASSCO the target of 1.20 MMT of Wheat with the Cash Credit Limit (CCL) for Rs. 65.00 Billion @ MSP of Rs. 1,950/40 Kg.

The ECC after discussion approved Supplementary/Technical Supplementary Grants which included Rs. 684.00 million ($ 3,708,323.00) in favor of the Ministry of Economic Affairs as the first installment/mobilization advance against the disbursement schedule provided by NADRA for the FY 2021-22.

It also approved Rs. 20 million for Ministry of Housing and Works for Execution of Development Schemes in Sindh Province under SAP”; Rs. 200 million in favor of the Ministry of Housing and Works from PSDP and Rs. 450 million for Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination for the project “Strengthening Existing Capacity for National Institute of Health for Effective Response Against Covid-19 Pandemic in Pakistan.”

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