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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet scheduled for Wednesday has been delayed till Friday as the finance minister and other members of the economic team have been busy in meetings on power and agriculture sector in the Prime Minister’s Office.

An official said that “we have to move according to the schedule of the prime minister and as there were important meetings on power sector and agriculture have been going in the Prime Minister’s Office for quite long time which led to cancellation of the ECC meeting. Now the ECC meeting is tentatively scheduled on Friday.”

The prime minister has termed, on various occasions, the power sector as a major challenge for the government as expensive electricity cost was making the export uncompetitive in the international market compared to other regional countries, where electricity cost was less expensive.

The latest country-wide blackout may have also come under discussion during the meeting.

Agriculture sector is another area that the government has directed the relevant ministries to come up with the policy in two weeks time to prevent sugar-like crisis in the country.

The ECC meeting was convened by the finance minister to take up the Ministry of Industries and Production’s proposal for waiver of taxes on import of sugar and textile and apparel policy, and now it has been delayed latest by Friday.

Other agenda items including the Ministry of Interior’s proposal with regards to approval of Technical Supplementary Grant (TSG) amounting to Rs10 million within Interior Sanctioned Budget for Purchase of Spare Parts for Helicopter Maintenance by the HQs Frontier Corps Balochistan (North), Quetta during ongoing fiscal year 2020-21 and the Ministry of Planning, Development and Initiatives Technical Supplementary grant (TCG) amounting to Rs76,628,933,000.

The ECC meeting has also on agenda, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony’s proposal for scaling up of Road to Makkah Project, and waiver of taxes on import of sugar, a proposal moved by the Ministry of Industries and Production following latest surge in the prices of the commodity.

The meeting was also to take up Textiles and Apparel Policy, 2020-25 moved by the Commerce Ministry and National Freight and Logistics Policy (NFLP) of Pakistan Communications.

The summaries related to the Textile and Apparel Policy (2020-25) and the NFLP were deferred to the next ECC for comprehensive consultation process with the key stakeholders.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021