ECC okays 0.1 million ton urea import

Offshore drilling for oil reserves 60% completed: Asad Umar

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OUR CORRESPONDENT

ISLAMABAD

Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Wednesday approved import of one hundred thousand tons of urea in order to meet the fertilizer requirements of the farmers. The decision was taken in a meeting of the ECC, held here today in Islamabad with Finance Minister Asad Umar in the chair.

The Ministry of Industries and Production was directed to review the price mechanism of fertilizer industry for ensuring provision of urea to farmers at cheaper rates. The committee also decided to allow additional import of Urea in case of conversion of gas supply from fertilizer plans to power producers during the summer.

The ECC, in its last meeting, had approved supplementary grant amounting to Rs1795 million for the temporarily dislocated persons from North Waziristan in the wake of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. The ECC meeting was chaired by Asad Umar. The committee was briefed by the officials of Water Resource Division (WRD) on the proposed arrangement for settling the electricity tariff and water usage charges issues with Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

According to a statement released from the ministry, the committee noted that the proposed arrangement, where AJK would set up its own DISCO and would receive water usage charges at the enhanced rate of Rs1.10/ kwh was based on the principle of equality and endorsed the same.

Moreover, in a statement, Finance Minister Asad Umar said offshore drilling up to 3,500 meter had been completed for exploration of oil and gas reserves. After completion of 5,000 meter drilling, the volume of oil reserves will be estimated, Asad Umar said in a statement. He said work on offshore drilling for oil which, was a high-risk operation, was underway. It would be a big discovery if we found oil offshore, he added.

The finance minister said the most difficult job at the grass roots was reforms. We have brought reforms in education and police sectors, while we faced difficulties in the health sector but soon improvements will be witnessed in this as well, he said. He said the country was progressing towards economical recovery and the nation would see improvement in this also. A positive situation will be surfaced in the economy sector in upcoming June budget, he said.

Asad Umar said 2 million jobs could not be created if the economy was not on 7 percent growth rate.

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