ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved the provision of electricity to five export-oriented sectors at Rs19.99 per kWh all-inclusive from October 1, 2022 to 30th June but deferred wheat support price 2022-23 approval.

The meeting of the ECC presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar approved the continuation of regionally competitive electricity tariff for export-oriented sectors -textile including jute, leather, surgical and sports goods across Pakistan from October 1, 2022 to 30th June.

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research presented a summary to consider proposals to use Gwadar port and revision of procedure for the pre-shipment inspection agency for the import of wheat. The ECC was informed that the reasons for the higher price in limited bids received, in the tender dated September 26, 2022 was increased risks due to a change in the inspection regime and port.

In view of the higher cost on import of wheat associated with the two proposals, the ECC approved the proposal that both amendments to the TCP tender inspection may be dropped for the time being. However, pre-shipment inspection should be ensured at the loading port from the top four inspection firms by TCP/Ministry of Commerce. The TCP was also directed to issue fresh tenders to ensure import of allocated quantity of wheat.

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The ECC meeting also approved the Ministry of Interior’s proposal of supplementary grant of Rs410.181 million and Rs146.570 million for effective security during the upcoming protest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The ECC deferred the summary of Ministry of National Food Security and Research on profitable support price of wheat crop 2022-23 because of its impact on the inflation as well as KP and Punjab wanted the price to be fixed at Rs3,000 per 40-kg, whereas, Sindh government wanted Rs4,000 as MSP.

The Ministry of National Food security and Research in the summary stated that the National Assembly Standing on NFS&R also recommended that the federal government may announce the MSP of wheat not less than Rs3,000/40-kg and a cabinet committee met with the chief minister Sindh with a request to review the MSP, however, no feedback has been received from him.

The minister also pointed out that the recommendation of the Sindh government to fix MSP at Rs4,000 per 40-kg is expected to have multi-dimensional effects, and likely to increase food inflation. In case of an increase of every Rs100 per 40kg in the MSP, the estimated rate of increase of inflation would be 0.16 per cent, the ministry stated and added that the proposed MSP of Rs3,000, Rs3,200, and Rs4,000/40-kg, the estimated increase in CPI would, tentatively, be 1.27, 1.60, and 2.86 percent, respectively.

Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema, Federal Minister for Commerce, Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mehmood, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue, Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha, federal secretaries and senior officers also attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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