ISLAMABAD: The government has allowed the transfer of Rs1.009 billion from Pakistan to Afghanistan through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for three Pakistani hospitals.
The decision to this effect was taken by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet presided over by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Thursday on a summary of the Ministry of Health that Rs1.009 billion may be transferred from Pakistan to Afghanistan through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for three Pakistani hospitals.
The meeting of the ECC chaired by the finance minister was submitted a summary that the prime minister of Pakistan in the first Apex Meeting of the Afghan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell (AICC) held on 22.01.2021 had announced Rs5 billion in kind support to Afghanistan for: wheat 50,000 MT; lifesaving medicines worth Pak Rs0.5 billion; and NDMA winter supplies (shelters/clothing).
During AICC fourth Apex Committee meeting held on 14.02.2022, it was decided that Rs5 billion assistance will be re-purposed in view of need assessment of humanitarian requirements in Afghanistan.
The detail of re-purpose is as under;Rs0.67 billion for already provided quantity of wheat to Afghanistan (6627 MT) by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research; Rs0.5 billion for lifesaving medicines by the Ministry of NHSR&C; out of the remaining amount of Rs3.83 billion, Rs1 billion will be utilised for Allama Iqbal Scholarships for Afghan students by the HEC and Rs2.83 billion for functioning, maintenance as well as equipment and salaries of three Pakistani hospitals in Afghanistan.
Accordingly, a summary was moved for re-purpose of NCR 5 billion assistance to Afghanistan, which was approved by the cabinet in its meeting held on 02.04.2022 including Rs2.83 billion for functioning/maintenance/ equipment/salaries of three Pakistani hospitals in Afghanistan.
The committee constituted by the Ministry of NHSR&C during its visit to three Pakistani hospitals in Afghanistan from 14.4.2022 to 21.4.2022.
The AICC in its meeting held on 08.05.2022 suggested that the fund amounting to Rs1,009,480,191 may be transferred from Pakistan to Afghanistan through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Pakistan Embassy in Kabul through Citi Bank, Pakistan to Embassy of Pakistan, Kabul’s account in Afghanistan International Bank, Kabul.
The meeting was informed that concurrence of the Finance Division was sought.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022