ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved Rs42.528 billion technical supplementary grant for the conduct of general elections in the fiscal year 2023-2024 and allowed the first release of Rs10 billion with the decision to further release on need basis.
The ECC meeting presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, was submitted a summary by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding the demand for funds for election in the current fiscal year.
The ECP informed the ECC as per its constitutional responsibility, the ECP is taking all necessary steps to conduct the next general elections and for this purpose, it has already requested the Finance Division for allocation of the funds.
In response, the Finance Division has desired that a summary should be moved for approval of the ECC. Accordingly, a summary for the ECC amounting to Rs42.528 billion for the conduct of general elections is submitted for the approval of the ECC. The ECC also approved a TSG of Rs200 million in favour of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) of the PM Secretariat, which has been established to attract investment from the GCC and other countries in the fields of defence, agriculture, mineral, IT, and energy.
The ECC considered a summary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting regarding charging electricity rates to cinema houses.
In order to revive the film industry in Pakistan, the ECC approved the proposal that cinemas may be charged electricity as per rates admissible to the industry. The ECC also considered a summary of the Ministry of Commerce regarding the export of vegetable ghee/cooking oil from export processing zones to Afghanistan through land route and approved omission of 7(6) and 7(7) pars of Export Policy Order (EPO)-2022, which specifies the conditions for exports to Afghanistan.
The ECC further allowed amendment in the Schedule-II of EPO-2022 to the extent of removing the exception regarding the export of vegetable ghee/cooking oil from EPZs, manufacturing bonds and export-oriented units to Afghanistan.
The ECC also considered a summary of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research regarding the revision of cess rates of tobacco for the year 2023-24.
The ECC approved revised cess rates for the year 2023-24 and Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) Plain Area MIPs for fiscal year 2023-24 per kg has been enhanced to Rs310 and the current cess rate of per kg was revised from Rs6 to Rs9 per kg, Sub-Mountainous Area MIPs for the year 2023-24 was enhanced to Rs351 and current cess rate of 6 per kg was revised upward to Rs9.30 per kg, Dark Air-Cured Tobacco (DAC) MIPs for the year 2023-24 has been enhanced to Rs190 and per kg current cess of Rs3.60 was revised upward to Rs5.70, White Patta (WP) MIPs for2023-24 (Rs. Per Kg) was enhanced to Rs146 and current cess rate to Rs3 per kg was revised upward Rs4.38 per kg. Burley MIPs for the fiscal year 2023-24 per kg to Rs223 with current cess rates per kg was revised upward to Rs5 from Rs6.69, whereas, naswar/snuff/ hookah and other Rustica Tobacco and its products MIPs for the fiscal year 2023-24 to Rs146 and current cess rate was revised upward from Rs3 to Rs4.38 and sun cured virgina (SCV) MIPs for the fiscal year 2023-24 per kg was fixed to Rs200 and revised cess rate at Rs6 per kg.
The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan, Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman, Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Masood Malik, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, SAPM on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha, Coordinator to the PM on Economy Bilal Azhar Kayani, Coordinator to PM on Commerce and Industry Rana Ihsan Afzal, federal secretaries and other senior officers.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023