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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved Rs.1.146 billion through technical supplementary grant (TSG) for trade missions abroad after it was told that depreciation of rupee led to shortfall in allocated budget for trade missions.

The Ministry of Commerce in a proposal to the ECC stated that its mandate was to alleviate the adverse balance of payment situation through trade facilitation and enhancement of exports. Presently, the ministry maintained that there are 55 trade missions abroad, which are striving to explore new markets for exports and to reach out to international market for commercial presence for exporters and potential industries.

Countries lacking banking channels: ECC approves B2B barter trade mechanism

The government for the fiscal year 2022-23, allocated to the Ministry a budget of Rs. 2,331 million (US$14.568 million) at the rate of Rs. 160 per US$ for operational expenditures of trade missions but due to depreciation of rupee the exchange rate touched Rs 270 against one dollar US. Thus the average exchange rate during current financial year 2022-23 remained equal to Rs. 247 per dollar, depreciating the allocated budget amounting to US$ 5.131 million or causing shortfall of Rs. 1.266 million.

Therefore, in order to continue to operations of trade missions abroad around Rs. 1.266 million will be required during the current financial year to meet the expenditure of remaining period March to June, 2023 of current fiscal year.

And despite commitment to the policy of austerity, operations of trade missions require to be continued for much needed exports and investment for the country.

The Ministry of Commerce continued that expenditure of rupee denomination, pertaining to the main Commerce Division amounting to Rs. 7 million (5%) for March-June, 2023 of current financial year has been surrendered as per austerity measures.

However, it added that the request for Supplementary Grant amounting to Rs.1.266 million was submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office by the Minister for Commerce. The Prime Minister Office has directed that the matter may be placed before the ECC of the Cabinet for deliberation and appropriate decision.

The ECC was further informed that a draft summary for the ECC was submitted to the Finance Division for its concurrence. The Ministry of Finance has agreed to grant of Rs. 1146.284 million (equivalent to 4.038 million US$ Pak Rs. 283. 8397) as TSG owing to the prevailing financial crunch in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Tulukan Mairandi May 22, 2023 01:47pm
Approved. But no funds.
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