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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has allowed the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to import 300,000 metric tons of urea on G2G basis and decided that the federal and provincial governments to bear equal subsidy of 50 percent each.

The meeting presided over by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Thursday, on a summary moved by the Ministry of Industries and Production with regard to urea fertiliser requirement for Rabi season 2022-23 allowed the TCP to initiate the process for import of urea on a government-to-government basis.

The meeting also decided the provinces to bear 40 percent subsidy share.

Sources said that the meeting was informed that a fertiliser review committee was convened on September 5, 2022, to discuss the urea fertiliser demand/supply for Rabi season 2023 and FRC after detailed deliberation with stakeholders – representatives from concerned federal and provincial agriculture department and fertilizer manufactures ministries - decided to import urea.

The ECC on a summary of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research for allocation of Passco’s local and imported wheat stock among recipient agencies, the ECC allowed to supply the Passco’s wheat among all [email protected] 50 per cent local and 50 per cent imported.

Imported fertilizer: PM defers decision on dealers’ margins

However, the USC will be provided wheat @75 per cent local and 25 percent imported. The meeting also decided that all recipients including USC would pay the full cost of wheat (local and imported) and incidental charges to the Passco.

The meeting was told that the Passco serves as a strategic organisation to procure wheat from Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan to build strategic reserves and to supply wheat to recipient agencies in case of emergency.

At the request of recipient agencies, the Passco makes allocation of wheat from its stocks.

The Passco is having wheat stock of 2.499 million metric tons (MMTs), including 1.232 MMTs carry forward stocks.

The ECC approved funds amounting to Rs3 billion to the NDMA to meet its growing expenditure on account of procurement of rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the calamity-stricken population across Pakistan.

The NDMA briefed the meeting that in the aftermath of the devastation caused by floods across the country, millions of people have suffered in terms of loss of life, property, livestock, and standing crops.

The NDMA was tasked by the prime minister to coordinate with the PDMAs and to proactively undertake rescue and relief operation in the affected areas.

The ECC also approved funds requirement of Rs1,009,480,191 (over one billion) in favour of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination for further transfer to the Government of Afghanistan through the approved mechanism for running cost/salary of the staff of three Pakistani hospitals in Afghanistan.

Ministry of Industries and Production presented a summary for the release of funds for the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) for the provision of essential commodities in the flood-affected areas.

The meeting was apprised that the USC, in collaboration with provincial governments, is actively participating in relief operation for the supply of essential food items in flood-affected areas across Pakistan. Due to the emergency situation and based on the preliminary need assessment, 113,700 ration bags amounting to Rs540 million would be disbursed. Considering the emergency situation, the ECC approved supplementary/technical supplementary grant of Rs540 million in favour of the USC.

The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mehmood, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, MNA/ex-PM, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha, Dr Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Government Effectiveness, MD USC, MD Passco, federal secretaries, and senior officers attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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