Finance Minister presides Economic Coordination Committee meeting of the Cabinet

Islamabad, October 30, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet meeting here under chairmanship of Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here on Thursday. The ECC taking cognizance of the rising trend of wheat imports despite a very good crop at home accorded approval for levy of 20% regulatory duty on import of wheat with immediate effect. ECC accorded approval for Government Guarantee for loans to PIA amounting to Rs 12 billion so that the national flag carrier can meet its critical requirements. Terms and conditions of the loans will be determined in consultation with the Ministry of Finance.

The ECC discussed the draft Textile Policy in detail and sought improvements in various proposals given in the draft. As decided by the Chair, a Committee headed by Minister for Planning and Development, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal and Minister for Food Security, Sikndar Hayat Bosan, Minister for Textile, Senator Abbas Khan and senior representative of Ministry of Finance as members would review the draft policy till November15 after which it would be placed before the ECC for reconsideration.

The Finance Minister on this occasion said the Government wanted to facilitate the Textile Sector in every possible way and the Policy should be framed in a manner that it covers all necessary aspects related to the textile sector.

The ECC accorded approval in principle for the Restructuring of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) with the assurance from the Textile Ministry that establishment of the Headquarters of the Committee at Multan would not require any funding from the GOP. The Chair also asked the Ministry of Textile to share its business plan which was the key feature of the Restructuring Plan and also get clearance for Service Rules and Regulation from Regulation Wing of the Finance Ministry.

The ECC considered the draft Policy Framework for Private Sector Transmission Line Projects submitted by Ministry of Water and Power with FBR and Nepra putting forth their views regarding certain provisions of the policy. The ECC approved corporate tax exemption for ten years with instructions that the companies concerned would file tax returns. There was also exemption allowed on Turn tax over for a period of ten years. Withholding tax on income was also exempted.

The ECC however decided that withholding on GST on imports will be leviable and adjustable. It was decided that Nepra will finalize tariff petition within a month for transmission lines without re-opening of tariff obtained through international competitive bidding. The ECC approved a proposal of M/o Water and Power to extend grace period by another two years for syndicated terms fiancé facility of Rs 136.45 billion for Power Holding (PVT) Ltd.

The ECC accorded approval to proposal from Ministry of Water and Power about Policy Framework for On-site Projects based on Interim Gas supply with slight amendments. The proposal aims at interim utilization of over 200 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) of natural gas available at various gas fields which cannot be injected into the pipeline system in the near future due to the time requirement for establishment of gas production. Ministry of P and NR would provide details of the gas available with other specifications.

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