ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has finalised 280,000 metric tonnes wheat requirement for the Utility Stores Cooperation (USC) till December 2021, and decided to offer the cash redemption under National Remittance Loyalty Programme (NRLP) only to those Pakistani remitters who would return to the country permanently.
The ECC meeting presided over by Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin was submitted the summary regarding incentives/rewards to overseas Pakistani remitters under the NRLP, now renamed as Sohni Dharti Remittance Program.
The meeting decided that the remitters would be awarded points against remittances sent by them to Pakistan through legal channels and recommended that cash redemption option may only be offered to those overseas Pakistani remitters who return to Pakistan permanently.
However, overseas Pakistanis would be qualified to avail services such as PIA ticket, mobile phone duty payment etc against redemption of the accumulated points awarded under the NRLP.
An official said that the meeting deferred summary of the Ministry of Health and the Power Division, while on export of onion and tomatoes, the first meeting of the sub-committee constituted by the ECC would be held today (Friday) and technical data on total requirement within the county and production would lead to decision for export or not.
On a summary tabled by the Ministry of Commerce regarding export of tomatoes and onions, the ECC after detailed discussion, constituted a sub-committee headed by the finance minister to consider monthly projections regarding export of perishable commodities on basis of estimated production, consumption and surplus to be presented by the Ministry of Commerce.
The meeting decided that the decision to export above mentioned vegetables will be taken by the sub-committee.
The meeting also approved the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) summary regarding allocation/release of 280,000 metric tonnes of wheat to the USC till December 2021 and allocation of total quantity of 300,000 metric tons of wheat to the AJ&K government out of the Passco stock during the current financial year.
On the first proposal, the meeting was told that a quantity of 90,000 metric tons has already been provided as an interim arrangement, whereas, the remaining 190,000 metric tons will be provided from Passco's stocks (local or imported as per stock availability with Passco).
The ECC approved the allocation/release of remaining 190,000 metric tons to the USC to ensure smooth supply of wheat through chain of USCs across the country.
On the second proposal of the Ministry for National Food Security and Research, the ECC recommended the allocation of total quantity of 300,000 metric tons of wheat to the AJ&K Government out of PASSCO stock during the current financial year including 140,000 metric tons of wheat, which has already been released to the AJ&K by the Ministry of NFS&R as an interim arrangement.
The ECC further directed the ministry to provide wheat to the AJ&K with a best possible combination of indigenous and imported wheat.
The Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) also updated the forum about the cotton seed prices during the months of August and September 2021, and added that the domestic prices remained above the threshold set, barring for couple of days due to rains.
The ECC considered and approved the summary tabled by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and HRD regarding Annual Budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 and revised budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 of the Employees Old-age Benefits Institution (EOBI). The ECC considered and approved a Technical Supplementary Grant (TSG) of Rs6.4 billion in favour of the Cabinet Division for Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) during the current fiscal year 2021-22.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021