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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved allocation of gas under commercial production from United Energy Pakistan’s (UEP’s) fields to the SSGCL but delayed approval of SME policy subsequent to concern of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on proposed tax relaxations and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Rs30 billion development Fund.

The ECC meeting was presided over by Omar Ayub Khan, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and attended by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin, Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, Minister for Railways, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, and Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

The ECC discussed the summary on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Policy 2021-25 presented by Ministry of Industries and Production and directed to review the policy and discuss the observations raised by the relevant stakeholders under the chairmanship of Tarin. The proposal would be presented to the Cabinet after developing a consensus of stakeholders.

However, an official said that the SBP has concerns on proposed Rs30 billion development fund under the policy and the FBR on tax relaxations. The adviser on finance has decided to hold meeting with stakeholders on Monday in order to alleviate their concerns after the concern of the FBR and the SBP, the official added.

After detailed discussion, the ECC deferred the summary tabled by the Ministry of Industry and Production on Auto Industry Development and Export Policy (AIDEP) 2021-26, and directed to present it in the next meeting after review of the same.

Men, women entrepreneurs: SME policy envisages big incentives

The ECC after due deliberation approved the summary presented by the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) for allocation of gas under commercial production from M/s United Energy Pakistan’s fields to SSGCL. M/s United Energy Pakistan will provide gas from Mitha and Bitro fields to the SSGCL. The price of gas will be as per the applicable Petroleum Policy to be decided by the concerned regulators.

The ECC also deliberated in detail on the summary presented by the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) on mechanism for granting concessionary tariff to the eligible consumers of zero-rated industrial consumers of Lasbela Industrial Estate (LIEDA) and Sunder Industrial Estate (SIE) and for prospective industrial estates.

The committee directed for installation of double meters at consumers of zero-rated industrial consumers of LIEDA and SIE for verification of reading by KE and LESCO and directed that subsidy claims may be processed on the basis of difference of readings.

The ECC also approved the summaries of Technical Supplementary Grants tabled by Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior Rs330 million and Rs84 million, respectively.

Earlier, Tarin presided over the meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee. The meeting was attended by Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, federal secretaries and other senior officers. The TAC reviewed the summaries in details and presented its recommendations to the ECC for its consideration.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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