• ECC of Cabinet discusses wheat situation in the country.
  • It is proposed to undertake a fresh stock of wheat.

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday discussed the wheat situation in the country and in the light of a briefing by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, decided to continue ban on export of wheat flour.

The meeting also decided to propose to provincial governments to undertake a fresh stock-taking of wheat in godowns to ensure availability of adequate supplies in the winter season.

The ECC meeting held here at the Cabinet Block with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the chair.

The meeting instructed the Ministry of Finance to call an early meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee to assess the wheat and flour supply situation in different parts of the country, including the federal capital in view of recent reports of rising prices of some core food items, including flour.

It also approved separate proposals for payment of over Rs 1.5 billion subsidy charges to the executing agencies of the Prime Minister's Youth Business Loan Scheme as well as transfer of Rs 2 billion funds from the Cabinet Division to the Planning, Development and Reform Division as a technical supplementary grant.

The ECC considered a proposal by the Finance Division and approved a technical supplementary grant amounting to Rs 1.516 billion in Cost Centre KA-3012-Prime Minister's Youth Business Loan Scheme from development expenditure of Finance Division in favour of development expenditure outside the Public Sector Development Programme during the current financial year.

It also approved a proposal by the Planning, Development and Reform Division for surrender of funds amounting to Rs 2 billion from its demand related to SDGs Achievement Programme (SAP) in favour of the Planning, Development and Reform Division for the year 2019-20 as a Technical Supplementary Grant to meet the requirements of important projects without affecting the overall PSDP allocation of the federal government.

Meanwhile, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, also chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) to discuss five agenda items related to the ongoing privatisation programme of the government.

The meeting approved inclusion of State Life Insurance Corporation (SLIC) as well as Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) and part of Lahore Electronic in Active List of Privatisation Programme.

The meeting further considered a proposal for delisting of Telephone Industries of Pakistan (TTP) from the Privatisation Programme and approved it in view of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication's plan to revive the TTP through a joint venture which had already been undertaken in consultation with the TIP employees and Privatisation Commission.

The CCOP also approved a proposal by the Ministry of Privatisation for following a hybrid option for the privatisation of National Power Parks Management Company Limited (NPPMCL), comprising two RLNG based power plants namely 1223 MW Balloki Power Plant and 1230 MW Haveli Bahadur Power Plant and instructed the Privatisation Commission to complete the bidding process by end December.

Under the approved plan, if the highest bidder for both plants remains the same, the bidder would be offered to buy the combined entity and in case the highest bidder for both plants is different, the demerger would become a Condition Precedent (CP) to Transaction Closing (SPA). There would be a divestment of 100 % equity of stake of NPPMCL in respect of both power plants.

The Privatisation Commission also briefed the CCOP on the 10 public sector entities (PSEs), approved for inclusion in the Active Privatisation List as per CCoP decision on August 8 and the subsequent process and placement of advertisements for hiring of financial advisers for the selected PSEs including Guddu Power Plant (747 MW) – Central Power Generation Company Ltd-CGPL (GENCO-II), Nandipur Power Plant (425 MW)- Northern Power Generation Company Ltd –NPGCL (GENCO-III), House Building Finance Corporation (HBFC), Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), First Women Bank Limited (FWBL), Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC), Pakistan Engineering Company (PECO), Sindh Engineering Limited (SEL), and  Pakistan Re-Insurance Co Ltd. (PakRe).