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Wednesday October 05, 2022

ECC allocates Rs10 billion for NDMA

September 22, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday approved Rs10 billion for procurement of relief items for the flood-affected areas. The amount of Rs10 billion has been allocated to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with direction to the Finance Division to immediately release Rs5 billion.

The ECC considered a summary presented by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination for exemption of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) from Customs Duty and Additional Customs Duty of 26 percent. The ECC, after discussion, directed the ministry to withdraw the summary and submit a fresh summary to rationalise the price of paracetamol to ensure its availability.

The ECC, which was virtually chaired by Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail here on Wednesday, considered a summary in which it was told that Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) for manufacturing of pharma products are imported at concessional rates of Customs Duty and most of the APIs are imported at zero percent Customs Duty and Additional Customs Duty. However, there are 11 APIs on which higher rate of Customs Duty and Additional Customs Duty are to be charged such as on Sulphamethoxzole at rate of 26 percent, Pseudoephederine and its salts 26 percent, Ephedrine and its salts 26 percent, Penicilins and their derivatives with a penicillanic and structure; salts thereof 26%, Cephalexin 26%, Cefixime in bulk 22%, Cephradine Oral 26%, Ciprofloxacin 26%, Norfloxacin 26%, Paracetamol 26% and Ibuprofen 26%.

The press statement issued here on Wednesday stated that Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail virtually presided over the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet. Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mehmmod, Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Abdul Qadir Patel, MNA/ex-PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr. Aisha Ghous Pasha, Coordinator to the PM on Economy Bilal Azhar Kayani, chairman NDMA, chairman FBR, federal secretaries and senior officers attended the meeting.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) presented a summary for allocation of funds for procurement and logistics of relief items for flood affected and apprised about the devastation caused by recent floods in Pakistan. In order to provide immediate relief to the flood affected, the NDMA started procurement on emergency basis costing Rs2.4 billion. Due to colossal damages, the already procured items are not sufficient viz-a-viz relief requirement in the flood-affected areas. Therefore, the NDMA placed orders for procurement of more items at cumulative cost of Rs7.113 billion, which are being procured in emergency to provide relief to affected. Previously, the NDMA was allocated Rs8 billion for procurement and logistics cost of relief items to the flood affected. The amount was insufficient as the cost of only procurement has surpassed Rs9.5 billion. Besides procurement, the NDMA is also undertaking logistics of all relief goods and materials provided by friendly countries.

The ECC approved allocation of Rs10 billion to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with direction to the Finance Division to immediately release Rs5 billion to NDMA. The ECC also considered a summary of Ministry of Commerce on clearance of stuck up consignments in the light of office memorandum dated 22 July, 2022, 19 August, 2022 and 23 August, 2022 issued by the Ministry of Commerce. The ECC approved the proposal and directed that the consignments of previously-banned items that landed in Pakistan till 18th August, 2022 may be released at the rate of surcharge.

The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination presented a summary for exemption of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) from Customs Duty and Additional Customs Duty. The ECC directed the ministry to withdraw the summary and submit a fresh summary to rationalise the price of paracetamol to ensure its availability. The summary presented by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research on import of wheat through Gwadar sea port was deferred by the ECC.

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