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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved over Rs33 billion supplementary grants/technical supplementary grants three days ahead of the budget for 2023-24 as well as fixation of maximum retail prices of 49 drugs.

The ECC meeting presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, on Monday, approved after discussion, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination’s summary for fixation of maximum retail prices (MRPs) of 49 new drugs on the basis of being lower as compared to their prices in the neighbouring countries.

These are drugs which are being introduced in Pakistan for the first time mostly at prices considerably lower than the region.

Hike in prices of essential drugs approved by ECC

The ECC also approved 16 supplementary and technical supplementary grants over Rs20 billion including Rs9,145 million in favour of the Power Division for the execution of 2,660 MW coal-fired power project Jamshoro besides Rs12 billion for procurement of relief items to restock/replenish its reserves in order to be better prepared to respond to any impending disaster.

Additionally, the ECC approved SG, TSG included Rs839.129 million as TSG in favour of “New Gwadar International Airport; Rs120.450 million for Establishment Division for the current fiscal year to meet the shortfall of ERE and Non-ERE components;Rs140. 584 million as TSG in favour of the Establishment Division for Payment to government departments for services rendered from various sources; Rs116.499 for the Ministry of Human Rights for meeting the shortfall in essential expenditures in different organisations working under the ministry;Rs700 million for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to meet the shortfall during 2022-23; Rs48 million TSG in favour of Ministry of Interior for release of funds to HQ Frontier Corps (North) KP, for construction of Fata Levies Centre at Shakas Peshawar and Rs470.827 million as TSG in favour of Ministry of Interior for the payment of troops cost/subsistence allowance to personnel of civil armed forces deployed in UN Peacekeeping Missions.

The ECC also approved a summary of the Ministry of Interior for the release of funds of Rs66.336 million TSG for the construction of Frontier Constabulary Training Centre, Michni, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The funds have been granted in aid to Pakistan by the USA for capacity building of civil armed forces; Rs347.99 million for Ministry of Interior to complete the raising process of 6th Battalion of Pakistan Post Guards for anti-smuggling purpose; Rs1,25.374 million in favour of Ministry of Interior for Fata Temporary Displaced Persons Emergency Recovery Project (TDP-ERP) of Nadra to serve the vulnerable families, affected by military operations; Rs49.5 million for Ministry of Interior for further disbursement of amount as financial assistance for the families of Shuhada and injured persons of Swat terrorism incident; Rs48.429 million TSG in favour of Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs to meet its ERE shortfall; Rs1,422.394 million as TSG in favour of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission to meet its ERE shortfall; Rs110.653 million as TSG in favour of National Counter Terrorism Authority to strengthen NACTA within its current mandate; Rs5,252 million as TSG million in favour of the Ministry of Defence for meeting ERE shortfall and Rs402.251 billion as TSG in favour of the EAD for debt servicing for foreign loans and credits.

The ECC meeting was attended by Minister for Industries and Production Syed Murtaza Mahmud, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha, Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Masood Malik, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, SAPM on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha, federal secretaries and other senior officers attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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