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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved Rs8.2 billion Ramzan Relief Package for the whole population instead of 20 million households registered with Ehsaas Rashan Riayat Programme.

The ECC meeting presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin approved the Ministry of Industries and Production’s summary, in principle, the Ramazan Relief Package-2022 with the direction to frame procedural mechanism for limiting the interventions by each family.

When asked about procedural mechanism, an official said, according to his understanding the government wanted to minimise the possibility of one family availing subsidy repeatedly on essential items during the month of Ramzan at the USC.

The ECC also approved Rs5,700/40kg threshold intervention price of seed-cotton for 2022-23 to revive the cotton production as well as bring about stability in domestic price and to ensure fair return to the farmers.

Rs8.2bn Ramazan package: ECC urged to widen scope

The decision was taken on a summary moved by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research regarding intervention price for cotton 2022-23 crop.

The ECC meeting further allowed to initially procuring two million bales of cotton at intervention price with the direction that the quantity would be reviewed on a monthly basis.

The ECC approved allocation of additional Rs11.73 billion TSG for covering expenditure on payment of PDC up to 31st March 2022 on a summary moved by the Petroleum Division to address the PSO and other Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) concerns over mechanism of payment.

The Petroleum Division submitted revised mechanism that the PDC will be applicable on sale of petroleum products rather than on procurement of products.

On a summary moved by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the ECC allowed the EAD Ministry to sign 15 debt rescheduling agreements with various credit countries, finalised under the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The ECC also approved a proposal of the Petroleum Division regarding issuance of sovereign guarantee of Rs21 billion in favour of M/s Faysal Bank Limited for the remaining tenor of the loan i. e 4 and ½ years along with issuance of letter of comfort for new finance agreement w.r.t pipeline infrastructure development project LNG-II.

The ECC allowed re-allocation of the OGDCL’s Jhal Magsi gas to the SSGCL and the SSGCL would carry out the project of gasification of Jhal Magsi town and would embark the required gas out of the proposed allocation. The meeting was informed that injection of this gas will help mitigate the SSGC’s gas demand-supply deficit.

The ECC also approved in principle up to 110 MMCFD gas from Mari deep (Goru-B) gas reservoir allocation to the SNGPL till 30-06-2024 on firm basis with the direction for the determination of price mechanism of gas.

The ECC also approved technical supplementary grants of Rs200 million to Pakistan Military Accounts Department (PMAD) for conversion of Pensioners to Direct Credit System, Rs3,500 million in favour of the Higher Education Commission for the project titled, Pak University of Engineering and Emerging Technologies (PUEET).

The meeting was attended by Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar, Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, federal secretaries, and senior officials.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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