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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has decided to provide subsidy on wheat to Gilgit-Baltistan with the direction to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and GB to work out modalities in this regard.

The meeting presided over by caretaker finance minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar was presented a summary regarding comprehensive sustainable plan for price rationalization of subsidized wheat in Gilgit-Baltistan from Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan discussed in the presence of Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan.

The ECC gave approval with the direction to Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan to work out modalities.

From Libor to SOFR: DFIs anxiously waiting for transition

An official said as the finance ministry does not have the fiscal space for subsidy, therefore, required funds for subsidy would be arranged from allocation of other ministries.

An official claim that subsidy may be around Rs 8 billion for GB. The ECC was also submitted a summary by National Food Security & Research regarding demand and supply of wheat in the country which was approved after discussion.

The forum acknowledged the steps taken by the ministry for taking the right path in stabilizing the demand and supply situation of wheat in the country.

The ECC also approved Ministry of Power summary regarding transition from London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (Libor) to Secured Over-Night Financing Rate (SOFR) after discussion.

The ECC approved Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives summaries for TSGs for budgetary allocation/rupee cover for utilization of foreign aid for the fiscal year 2023-24 and provision of Rs.4 billion for 7th Population & Housing Census.

The ECC meeting has approved Rs 500 million TSG to Ministry of Aviation for sub project titled ’Modernization Of Hydromet Services of PMD in Pakistan (MHSP) after being briefed about the summary of Aviation Division, and TSG of Rs.38.856 million for Institutional Reforms Cell (IRC) from Cabinet Division and proposal for importation of Sahiwal Bull from Pakistan as semen donors for National Artificial Insemination (AI) Programme.

The summary was moved by the Ministry of Commerce.

Ministry of Finance summaries for approval of TSG for rehabilitation of flood damaged rural roads in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through counter value fund deposited under Japanese Grant aid, and provision of clean drinking water in Model Areas UC 99, 100 & 101 Lahore through counter value fund deposited under Japanese Grant Aid were also approved.

The provision of additional funds amounting to Rs. 1591.624 million through TSG for procurement of servers and hiring consultants for fiscal year 2023-24 and Rs.7.15 billion during the ongoing fiscal year for the program title “Actions To Strengthen Performance For Inclusive And Responsive Education” (ASPIRE) for Federal Education and Professional training were also approved by the ECC.

The summaries from Ministry of Housing and Works/Pak PWD for Provision of Technical Supplementary Grant of Rs. 25.00 million, Provision of Technical Supplementary Grant of Rs. 319.500 million and allocation of Technical Supplementary Grant amounting to Rs. 51.960 million for different projects were also approved.

The meeting was attended by the caretaker Minister for Privatization and Inter Provincial Coordination Fawad Hasan Fawad, Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Sami Saeed, Minister for Communication Maritimes and Railways Shahid Ashraf Tarar, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr. Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan, Advisor to PM on Finance Dr. Waqar Masood, Federal Secretaries and other senior government officers of the relevant ministries.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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