- ECC meeting told that funds were allocated under the Economic Stimulus Package for the entire duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, irrespective of the financial year
ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday decided that unutilised Rs352 billion of Rs1,240 billion stimulus package would be used for procurement of vaccines for COVID-19 (during the ongoing fourth wave) in fiscal year 2021-22.
The ECC meeting presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin (through a video link) was presented a summary by the Finance Division to carry forward for fiscal year 2021-22, the unutilised cash component equal to Rs352 billion out of the Economic Stimulus Package amounting to Rs1,240 billion (provided in March 2020 to mitigate the adverse socio-economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and to support the marginalised sections of society.
The meeting was told that funds were allocated under the Economic Stimulus Package for the entire duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, irrespective of the financial year.
Thus, the ECC re-validated the amount of Rs352 billion for the fiscal year 2021-22 for meeting related expenditures including procurement of vaccines for Covid-19 (during the ongoing fourth wave) as the federal government aims to vaccinate at least 85 million by December 2021.
The ECC considered a summary presented by the Ministry of Commerce regarding Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) for 2020-25 to enhance export competitiveness of Pakistan through a framework of policy interventions.
The proposed STPF 2020-25 also includes a monitoring and implementation mechanism.
The underlying rationale is to enhance exports as a national priority through collaborative and cohesive efforts.
The finance minister directed that the factors related to a market-based realistic exchange rate must be incorporated under the proposed STPF 2020-25.
The finance minister further stressed to include specific measures for encouraging Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and consolidation of fragmented export industry in Pakistan.
After due deliberations, the committee decided to review the draft STPF 2020-25 after having another consultative meeting with all relevant stakeholders and present an updated policy framework before the next ECC for approval.
The Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) presented a summary regarding intervention price for the cotton crop for fiscal year 2021-22.
The ECC had earlier constituted a committee, under the chairmanship of the Minister for NFS&R, for presenting recommendations to promote cotton production and bring price stability in the domestic market by monitoring local market prices.
The ECC deliberated over the recommendations by the Cotton Price Review Committee (CPRC) and it was decided that another consultative session would be held with all key stakeholders on board including the Ministry of NFS&R, the Finance Division and Commerce to finalise the recommendations, and present the revised summary before the Cabinet.
An official said that the cotton intervention price may be notified today (Thursday) following finalisation of the price by the adviser to the prime minister on commerce, finance minister and minister for food security and special assistant to the prime minister on finance.
NNI adds: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin, chaired a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet (through a video link) Wednesday. Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for Privatization Muhammad Mian Soomro, Advisor to the PM on Institutional Reforms & Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Advisor to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, SAPM on Finance and Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, Federal Secretaries, Chairman FBR and other senior officers participated in the meeting. Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr. Reza Baqir joined the meeting through a video link.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021