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June 11, 2020

ECC told 6.25m tons wheat against target of 8.25m tons procured

National

June 11, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) was informed on Wednesday that Passco and provincial food departments so far procured 6.25 million tons wheat or 80 percent against the assigned target of 8.25 million tons for the current year.

The 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.

The ECC approved $10.9 million for capital increase in Bangladesh operations of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) 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.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting of the ECC of the Cabinet at the PM Office on Wednesday.

The technical supplementary grants were approved by ECC including i. Rs3485 million for Ministry of Foreign Affairs for meeting the costs of the running of the foreign missions. ii. Rs54,71,707 for Ministry of Law & Justice to pay the annual membership fee of different organisations. iii. Rs250 million to NAB to meet its liabilities towards government of Punjab. iv. Rs168,151,919 to Ministry of Interior for smooth working of the peacekeeping missions. v. Rs18.33 million for the privatisation commission to meet its expenditure under various heads. vi. Rs7,248.050 for Ministry of National Health services, Regulations & coordination for expanded program on immunization. vii. Rs79 million was given to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to meets its various expenditures. viii. Rs5 billion for the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund. ix. Rs8.4 billion to BISP (the amount was transferred by Govt. of Punjab for onward transfer to BISP beneficiaries in Punjab through Ehsaas programme). x. Rs500 million for the ICT Administration for completing two projects. xi. Rs450 million to ICT Administration for Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Programme. 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 Rs480.556 million (financial impact from 1st April 2020 to 30th July 2020) to meet the requirement.

The amount shall be provided out of Rs50 billion of the Prime Minister’s Fiscal stimulus Package through technical supplementary grant. The amount shall be paid to 3,432 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.

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 Programme. Now instead of two tiers (100,000 to 0.5 million and 0.5 million to 5 million) there will be three tiers of the loans; Rs100,000 to 1 million, Rs1 million to 10 million, Rs10 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).

Electric Vehicle Policy for 2-3 wheelers and Heavy Commercial Vehicles get 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 10,000MT of wheat to World Food Programme 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.