Islamabad, February 11, 2014 (PPI-OT): The meeting of Board of Export Development Fund (EDF) was chaired by Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, This was the first meeting of the EDF Board since Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan assumed the charge of Federal Minister for Commerce, last month.
The Board approved funding for the ongoing projects of Fiber Classification System (a project of Ministry of Textile Industry), Vapour Heat Treatment (VHT) plant for mangoes, National Trade and Transport Facilitation Project and Garment City Karachi.
The Board also approved new projects of Cotton Ginning Research Centre Multan, Shrimp Farming Project Karachi, and establishment of Display Centre and Research Institute by SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Islamabad.
During the meeting, the Commerce Minister stated that the major task before the board was to set a vision for the allocation of EDF funds. The allocation and utilization of funds would be made fair and transparent by creating a balance between the traditional export sectors and the potential sectors.
In order to enhance the competitiveness of the export sector, priority would be given in allocation of EDF funds to the projects for development of domestic commerce, trade facilitation, social compliances, market research, human resource development and infrastructure development for the export-oriented sectors.
The Board asked the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to prepare the projects for development of value chain in food sector for EDF funding. The Commerce Minister said that projects for the underdeveloped areas and development of women entrepreneurship would be given priority in the allocation of EDF funding.
The Board observed that measures need to be taken to reduce the post-harvest wastage of dates in Balochistan especially the Panjgur area. The Board recommended the revamping of the Dates Processing Project Committee.
“The monitoring mechanism of the EDF funded projects is being improved,” Eng. Khurram Dastgir Khan stated. The Board approved the forms for the appraisal, monitoring and evaluation of the EDF projects. The standard format of these forms would help in professionally evaluating the projects for EDF funding and establishing a self-run mechanism of monitoring and evaluation.
The Board demanded the Finance Division to release funds to the EDF in accordance with the EDF Act 1999, as amended in 2005. The EDF Act stipulates that the Ministry of Finance shall propose to the Parliament an appropriation equivalent to the receipts of the Export Development Surcharge collected during the preceding year, which shall be transferred to the Fund after the approval of budget estimates for the year.
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