Finance Minister presides meeting of Economic Coordination Committee of Cabinet

Islamabad, January 08, 2014 (PPI-OT): A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) which lasted for over four and half hours was held under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at the Prime Minister’s Office this afternoon.

In his opening remarks the Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar took exception to stories appearing in the media regarding decisions of the ECC. In case the stories are incorrect or need clarification, the Minister directed that the relevant Secretary Incharge to issue the necessary rejoinder to ensure transparency of the decisions and clarify it to put it into proper perspective.

The Finance Minister also observed that Secretaries of the Economic Ministries should come to the ECC meeting fully prepared with complete information relating to his or her Ministry and bring their cases before ECC after completing consultations with other Divisions where necessary so that a timely decision can be made.

The Finance Minister said that budgetary discipline should be maintained by all Ministries and no cases for regular supplementary grant be moved unless critical. The Secretaries shall be responsible to remain within the reduced budgetary allocation and exercise austerity instead of moving cases for supplementary grant.

The Cabinet Secretary Mr. Sami Saeed informed the meeting that the present P:ML-N government in its six months had so far held sixteen meetings of ECC which was a new record breaking its own record of fourteen meeting set earlier by its last government in 1997-99. The ECC took 81 decisions during the last six months of which 54 were implemented while 27 decisions were under various phases of implementation. Besides, the ECNEC also held six meeting thus creating a new record.

During the meeting the Minister for National Food Security and Research informed the meeting that Fertilizer Companies have arbitrarily increased the prices of urea by Rs.150/- per bag. The ECC took serious notice of the increase in price and a meeting with Fertilizer Companies has been called on Friday to discuss the matter. The Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Minister for Industries and Minister for National Food Security and Research alongwith their respective Secretaries shall also be present on the occasion.

The ECC also directed the Ministry of Planning to submit its report on the Housing of Fertilizer Review Committee which is presently working under the Minister for Industries within two days so that the anomaly could be removed and the committee could be placed under the relevant ministry.

The Chairman Trading Corporation of Pakistan briefed the ECC on Incidental and Financial costs on imported Urea from Karachi and Gwadar.

The Chairman Trading Corporation of Pakistan briefed the ECC on Incidental and Financial costs on imported Urea from Karachi and Gwadar.

The ECC also decided to constitute a Committee under the chairmanship of Minister for National Food Security with Secretary Finance and Commerce as its member to review the incidental cost on import of urea including the role of National Fertilizer Manufacturer Limited (NFML).

The Chairman Trading Corporation of Pakistan informed the ECC that against a credit line of Rs.143 billion from various banks which is near exhaustion an additional amount of Rs.122 billion has accumulated on account of subsidy since 2004.

The Finance Minister took serious objection over the accumulation of outstanding of TCP and observed that officials should have brought this issue earlier and regretted that old liabilities of previous governments have not been brought to ECC. The committee constituted for the purpose would also suggest proposal for resolution of this lingering issue as well, the ECC noted.

ECC appreciated the humanitarian assistance of US $ 1.86 million for purchase of wheat being provided by World Food Programme for assistance of earthquake affectees of Balochistan and its purchase from PASSCO at cost.

The ECC decided to allow Lucky Cement Limited to remit US $ 40 million in four quarterly installments of US $10 million each as equity investment for setting up a cement manufacturing plant in Congo from interbank market. The ECC had earlier allowed them to purchase it from open market.

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has forwarded requests of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association for allowing the import of Pet Coke. Non-Calpine (PCT Coke 2713.1100) from India through land route via Wagha/Attari border, by trucks.

As per Import Policy Order, 2013, Poet Coke is importable from India via rail/sea route. However, its import via land route by trucks is not allowed, as it is not included in Appendix G-1 of the Import Order 2013.

The ECC decided that Pet Coke may be included in the list of importable items from India through Wagah/Attari through trucks, through an amendment in the Appendix G-1 of Import Policy Order 2013.

ECC decided to approve subject to clearance of Revised PC-Is by CDWP and ECNEC to award the balance works and additional works of rehabilitation including construction of 4 bridges as to FWO by NHA as permissible under the PPRA Regulation issued vided SO Notification 719(1)2011 dated 18th July, 2011.

The ECC noted the OGRA’s report on petroleum product prices and its analysis of price trends of international oil prices and the commensurate trend in the domestic prices of oil and has asked the Ministry of Petroleum to present its recommendations on the report in the next ECC meeting.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervez Rashid, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Mr. Shahid Khaqaan Abbasi, Federal Minister for Food and National Security Mr. Sikandar Bosan, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Mr. Zahid Hamid, Federal Minister for Commerce Mr. Khurram Dastaghir, Minister of State for Information Technology Ms. Anusha Rehman, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Mr. Yaseen Anwar, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Mr. Tariq Bajwa, Chairman Securities and Exchange Commission Mr. Tahir Mehmood, Chairman Privatization Commission Mr. Zubair Umar and senior officials of the federal government.

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