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Economic Coordination Committee Approves Sugar Purchase at the Rate of RS.46,250/TON

Islamabad: The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet which met here today under the Chairmanship of the Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has decided for the purchase of 3,78,000 tons of sugar at the rate of Rs.46,250 ton.

The Committee also approved the establishment of Dry Port at Prem Nagar Railway Station Lahore, Hiring of Financial Advisor for the implementation of Pakistan Iran-Gas Pipeline, and grant of 50% relief to the loan outstanding against the All Sindh Balochistan Rice Millers and Traders affected by the recent rains and floods. The Chairman FBR informed the ECC that up till now the Private Sector has made investments upto Rs.1.2 billion and Public Sector to Rs.4.94 billion in the Dry Port at Prem Nagar and expected revenue generation is Rs.1.0 billion per year, by this project.

The Committee also deliberated at length on the summary moved by the Ministry of Railways for the grant of Exemption/Condonation of Deviation/Departure of Public Procurement Rules 2004 for the procurement of 75 locomotives.

The ECC concluded that this matter can only be tackled by a superior authority than ECC that is the Cabinet, which is going to meet tomorrow. The Chairman of the ECC instructed the Ministry of Railways to visit the Cabinet as the ECC is not the proper forum to grant the Exemption/Condonation to any Ministry or Division, from the PEPRA Rules.

It may be recalled here that in the earlier meeting of the ECC it was decided to procure 200.000 tons of sugar from the domestic sugar mills, and in this regard the TCP was instructed to release tender.

Responding to the tender two bidders have offered to match the lowest price that is Rs.46,250/ metric ton for the supply of 10,000 tons each.

Other offers quoted higher rates – In view of the above position, the summary moved by the Ministry of Industries sought (a) relaxation/exemption from the relevant provisions from PPRA Rules 2004 for price matching for which the ECC asked the Ministry of Industries to seek its approval from the Cabinet (b) balance bid quantity of 1,75,000 tons in excess of originally approved 200,000 against the tender at the rate of Rs.46,250/ tons be allowed, on which the ECC granted approval.

While discussing the grant of assistance to the rain affected millers and traders of rice in the Province of Sindh and Balochistan, the Chairman of the ECC said on humanitarian grounds the Government should give them relief but this should not be invoked as a precedent in future by other Ministries and Divisions and instructed the Finance Division to take all safeguard measures in this regard, and constituted a committee headed by the Secretary Finance to oversee this relief is properly destined to the affected only. The principal amount of non- performing loans has been Rs.513 millions against the millers and traders (including provisions made by the banks) shall be 50% percent relieved the ECC decided.

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