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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has allowed the disabled persons, import of customs duty-free cars under disabled persons' scheme, and decided to hold a special meeting on the issue of wheat import on Friday after the Food Ministry failed to satisfy the meeting on the issue of subsidy as well as other questions. The meeting presided over by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh held a detailed discussion on import of wheat but as discussion remained inconclusive due to time factor, the adviser decided to convene a special meeting on Friday.

The meeting wanted to know from the Ministry of National Food Security and Research how the assessment was made as to how much quantity of wheat was required to be imported, whether it would involve any amount of subsidy.

The meeting also asked the ministry whether provinces have been consulted, and if so, how much imported wheat provinces would purchase from the PASSCO?

Sources further stated that some members asked why provinces were not importing wheat themselves, if they were in need of the commodity.

The Food Ministry, sources said, had no plausible answer to these questions, hence adviser on finance decided to hold a special meeting on the issue of wheat import on Friday, and instructed the Food Ministry to come to the meeting along with answers to the questions raised in the meeting, and more relevant details.

The ECC has allowed amendment in the import of customs duty-free cars under disabled persons' scheme. The ECC was told 408 persons have obtained permission to import vehicles after submitting disability certificates but only three to four vehicles have been imported. The ECC wanted to know the reasons in this regard.

The meeting was informed that as per new amendments, the income bracket of the person importing a vehicle has been increased from the current limit of Rs20,000 to Rs100,000, and Rs100,000 to Rs200,000 per month.

A person would be eligible to import the vehicle, if he has not imported or purchased locally-assembled car during the last 10 years under the scheme, provided that he holds NTN certificate and files annual tax returns.

The ECC also approved the incorporation of Pakistan Single Window Company under Section 42 of the Companies Act, 2017, with its objectives as contained in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

The composition of the Board of its Directors was also approved.

The meeting also gave approval for the provision of technical supplementary grant of Rs219.631 million for the reimbursement of the expenditure of the National Coordination Committee on Covid-19 for the current financial year.

Rs6 billion was approved for the Ministry of Railways as additional grant of Rs500 million per month to defray its mandatory liabilities, including pay and pensions.

Two technical supplementary grants amounting to Rs160 million and Rs96 million were approved for the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training to carry out the "Skill for all" programme and for "Mainstreaming of religious education and matters related to deeni madaris", respectively.

The ECC also approved Publication of Rolling Spectrum Strategy 2020-2023.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020