ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet has approved a technical supplementary grant of Rs13.2 billion for Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company Limited (PMRCL) equivalent to US$ 50 million to be obtained from the World Bank (WB) as 1st tranche of Credit Line of US$ 85 million.
The meeting presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was presented a summary by the Finance Division stating that Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company Limited (PMRC) has been set up as a joint initiative of the government and commercial banks and development finance institutions (DFIs) with the support of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the WB to provide medium- and long-term funding to primary mortgage lenders by raising funds from the capital debt market at cheaper rates.
The government holds 28.86 percent shares of PMRC, while the rest of the 71.14 per cent shareholding are held by banking sector investors –NBP, HBL, UBL, IFC, Askari Bank, Bank Alfalah, ABL, Bank Al Habib Ltd, HBFCL, and Summit Bank. The SBP issued commencement of business certificate to PMRC from I2-06-2018.
The WB provided a credit line of US$ I40 million to the government during 2018 to pass on the same to the PMRC at a concessional rate of three per cent. To expand the provision of risk cover to Els against financing in the housing sector, the WB on 10-03-2022 approved an additional credit line of US$ 85 million to the government for Housing Finance Project, which will be passed on to Credit Guarantee Trust Fund (CGTF) solely owned by the government as a loan and PMRC will act as a trustee.
The ECC of the Cabinet on 29-11-2022 approved a summary regarding the constitution of a new scheme titled Credit Guarantee Trust Scheme for low-income housing namely, Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar (MPMG) Scheme through Second Supplemental Trust Deed with an amount of US$ 85 million to be obtained from the WB. The cabinet ratified the same v dated 08-12-2022.
The second supplementary trust deed between the government and PMRC has been signed on 15-12-2022 which has been registered by the Directorate of Labour and Industries, Islamabad on 20-12-2022.
The disbursement process for the first tranche of US$ 50 million has been initiated. In order to release the said funds to PMRC, an equal amount of rupee cover would be required and Finance Division has allocated an amount of Rs1 billion federal miscellaneous investments and other loans and advances for the current fiscal year for the Pak rupee equivalent of the said fund.
Accordingly, a letter to AGPR for the opening of Assignment Account in the National Bank of Pakistan, Karachi in the name of PMRC - Trustee Credit Guarantee Trust Scheme for low-income housing - MPMG to operate the Trust Fund has been issued. 8. In order to release the funds amounting to US$ 50 million to be received from the World Bank, an equal amount in Rs14.2 billion at the rate of Rs284 per US$ as per the prevailing exchange is required.
The Finance Division has allocated an amount of Rs1 billion under federal miscellaneous investments and other loans and advances for the fiscal year 2022-23 for the Pak rupee equivalent of the said funds, therefore, funds of Rs13.2 billion will be arranged through a technical supplementary grant.
The Finance Division proposed to the ECC that a technical supplementary grant of Rs13.2 billion under federal miscellaneous investments and other loans demand and advances under the federal government may be approved to transfer the same to the PMRC’s Project account.
A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved maximum retail prices of four new cardiac stents ranging from Rs53,130 to Rs72,450.
The ECC meeting presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday also approved TSG for rupee cover of Rs7.840 billion against an amount of US$ 33.1 million for World Bank funded Financial Inclusion and Infrastructure Project (FIIP).
On a summary moved by the Ministry of National Health Services, the ECC approved four stents prices and fixed promus premier select stent retail price at Rs58,765 followed by Sirokimus eluting coronary at Rs65,507, Novolimus drug at Rs72,450 and Cre8 Amphilimus Rs53,130, while referring to the Supreme Court’s decision.
The meeting was informed that in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s order dated 20th March 2018 and subsequent order dated 10th January 2020 passed in Human Right Case, a National Price Fixation Committee for life saving medical devices was constituted with terms of reference (TORs) notified in 2020 after the approval of the federal government. Subsequently, a mechanism to fix and review MRPs of cardiac stents was detailed in SRO 1559 dated 18th August 2022.
A meeting of the committee was held on 21st February 2023 and recommended MRPs (base prices) of four categories of cardiac stents and the MRPs of four new cardiac stents will become effective when approved by the federal government.
The meeting also approved Technical Supplementary Grant (TSG) of Rs5 billion in favour of Ministry of Housing and Works for the current financial year 2022-2023 for execution of development schemes of Ex-FATA.
The meeting was informed that the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives has approved additional allocation of funds amounting to Rs5 billion out of Accelerated Implementation Plan (10 years Development Plan), AIP for the erstwhile FATA for execution of prioritized projects of Ex-FATA by PWD April, 2023.
The Ministry of Planning and Development further suggested the Finance Division to release the said amount to Ministry of Housing for execution of approved projects during current fiscal year after completion of all formalities required for development spending under PSDP.
Pak-PWD accordingly submitted proposal for allocation of additional funds of Rs5 billion through TSG for execution of development schemes of Ex-FATA. The meeting also approved Rs8.4 billion TSG in favour of Ministry of Foreign Affairs to meet its shortfall in annual budget for the current financial year 2022-2023.
The ECC meeting also approved grant of additional (free) area of 15.88 sq kms in Soghri Exploration License on Ministry of Energy summary. On another summary of the Ministry, the ECC also approved grant of 6 months of extended well testing over Qabul-2 St-1 discovery in Khipro Exploration License.
The ECC noted the presentation given by the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAPHDA) on its mandate and performance since its formation and directed to review its model and submit a summary on its future needs.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023