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Wednesday December 08, 2021

ECC allows cotton, sugar imports from India

April 01, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday allowed import of cotton, yarn and sugar from India in a widely-expected move to bridge shortfall of the textile industry’s main input and sweetener in the country.

The decisions were taken during a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet presided over by newly-appointed Finance Minister Hammad Azhar.

ECC also approved import of three million tons of wheat through public and private sectors to meet the requirements of local consumers and build strategic reserves.

“In order to boost the value-added exports in the textile sector, the ECC allowed the import of cotton and cotton yarns from India to bridge the gap between demand and supply of the raw materials, required to maintain the surge of exports especially in the textile sector,” said an official statement. The import will be allowed through land and sea routes till June 30, until the arrival of the new cotton crop.

India is the world’s biggest producer of cotton and the second biggest sugar producer. ECC allowed the commercial import of white sugar of up to 500,000 tons from India till June 30 through land and sea routes, on the basis of quota issued by the ministry of commerce.

The revision of minimum support price of wheat crop 2020/21 to Rs1,800 / 40 kilograms was approved. The committee approved the wheat procurement targets of Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation and provincial food departments.

ECC approved the registration of pink rock salt as geographical indications to promote and enhance national and international trade, stimulate global demand and attract premium price with Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation to be notified as registrant. The petroleum division presented a summary regarding reduced gasoline tariff of Parco’s Mehmoodkot-Faisalabad-Machike pipeline at 85 percent of the prevalent railway tariff. The committee approved the summary.

ECC also considered and approved the summary presented by the ministry of commerce regarding amendment in export policy order 2020 to waive the condition of minimum export price for single-use surgical instruments marked with appropriate and internationally recognized symbols / color schemes to indicate single-use items. The product has to be certified by Sialkot Material Testing Lab on the basis of physical/ chemical tests. The cabinet committee approved the addendum/amendment to security package document of 660kV Matiari-Lahore transmission line project as proposed by the power division.

On recommendation of the ministry of industries and production, the ECC approved the issuance of government guarantee required against letter of credit facility of Rs2.5 billion, extended by the National Bank of Pakistan to Pakistan Steel Mills.

The ECC deferred the decision on strategic trade policy framework 2020-25 and approved the formation of the National Export Development Board as requested by the ministry of commerce to facilitate economic outreach initiatives.

The committee approved technical supplementary grants of Rs630.8 million for the federal ministry of education and professional training for the project titled, establishment and operation of basic education community schools, Rs370.7 million for the ministry of federal education and professional training for meeting expenditure related to various educational institutions/area education offices, Rs600 million for award of Allama Muhammad Iqbal 3,000 scholarships to students from Afghanistan by the Higher Education Commission, Rs128.7 million for the ministry of housing and works for execution of development schemes in the Sindh, Rs2 billion for low cost housing scheme, Rs450 million for construction of new building of Supreme Court, Branch Registry at Karachi, Rs1.2 billion for Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Rs22.59 million for the ministry of national food security and research for making payments pending under wheat freight subsidy scheme 2016-17, Rs49.1 million for the Privatization Commission for meeting various operational expenses, Rs50 million to the ministry of energy for execution of gas development schemes in Sindh and Rs50 million to Higher Education Commission for payment of educational expense of 90 Afghan students.