Economic Coordination Committee Discusses Different Agenda of National Importance
Islamabad: The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) met here today with the Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul; Hafeez Shaikh in the chair. At the start of the meeting the committee reviewed the implementation status of the ECC decisions held on 16th and 23rd August 2011 and the key economic indicators prevalent in the country during last three months.
In the key economic indicators area the Secretary Finance Dr. Waqar Masood briefed the committee about the fertilizer situation and said that there is a balance of 122,000 M/ tons of fertilizer for the coming Rabi crop.
The Secretary briefed the committee that the stock of the wheat as on October 10 was 8.6 million tons showing sufficient quantity of local wheat to be released by provincial food departments and PASSCO to flour mills. Worker’s remittances were to be Rs.3.3 billion that is showing 25% growth, the ECC was informed.
Tax collection for the period July-September stood at Rs.369 billion as compared to Rs.294 billion of the last year in the same period. There is a positive growth of 26% in net tax collection. The meeting was also informed the fertilizer situation that 122,000 metric tons is under loading/voyage and expected to arrive by the end of this month and one vessel of DAP is under handling at KPT.
The ECC discussed at length the summary of the Ministry of Commerce asking for ban on export of live animals. The Ministry of Commerce contended in summary that it was approached by the Pakistan Tanners Association and Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and others involved in the export of value added leather export products, have reported that there is an acute shortage of raw material which is leading to increase in the price of livestock at exorbitant rate.
If the present situation persists, the Ministry of Commerce stresses, Pakistan’s major export for finished leather and value added leather products will substantially decrease. The ECC after having different views from members directed the Ministry of Commerce to resubmit the summary after having detailed consultations with two provinces, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the cattle breeding is the one of the major source of their income.
The ECC also asked the Ministry of Commerce to check the smuggling of the cattle to neighbouring countries and regulate the mechanism for the proper implementation of government policies for the livestock export.
The ECC has approved the enhancement of the mark up on the loans of Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL). The ECC allowed removal of the cap on subsidized lending (mark-up rate of 8-9%) by ZTBL and allowed the bank to effect gradual increase in the mark-up rate to current level in three year period.
The summary was moved by Internal Finance Wing of Finance Division.
The ECC has allowed to import one lakh tons of sugar instead of the proposed quantity of seven lakh tons by the Utility Stores Corporation to maintain the stability in the market and ensure sugar availability. The ECC also constituted a committee to deliberate upon the import of urea for Rabi 2011-12 whose summary was moved by the Ministry of Industries and discussed the two scenarios for meeting requirement.
Scenario one depicts import of 0.7 million tons for Rabi 2011-12. 0.3 million tons to reach end of October and 0.4 million tons end of November 2011 and scenario two depicts import of 1.2 million tons for Rabi 2011-12. 0.4 million tons to reach end of October and 0.4 million tons end of November 2011 and 0.4 by end December 2011.
The committee was constituted comprising Ministers for Production and that of Petroleum and Natural Resources including Secretary Finance and the committee will meet the senior Minister for Industries in this regard. The ECC has also approved the grant of further two years extension to M/s ENI Pakistan limited to retain area “B” of Badhra Development and Production Lease.
At the start of the meeting it was stated that 27 ECC meetings have been held during the 15 month tenure of the last Finance Minister, Mr. Shaukat Tarin in which 237 decisions were implemented out of 242 decisions. Five decisions were under implementation.
In the same way total 25 ECC meetings were held during the 18 months tenure of the present Finance Minister, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in which 231 decisions were implemented out of 253 decisions and 22 decisions are under implementation.
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