The meeting of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet held here Tuesday with Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the chair to discuss matters of national importance and approved a financial package of Rs. 8.6b for PSM.
ECC discussed summary regarding financial assistance for PakistanSteel Mills moved by Ministry of Production. ECC was informed that PSMhas been facing loss since 2008 and currently working at a very lowcapacity of 15percent.
While keeping in view difficulties faced by PSM and the previous CCOR decision, ECC approved financial package of Rs.8.6 billion for PSM including mark up for FY 2013. ECC also approved disbursement schedule for PSM formulated by CCOR.
While keeping in view the current gas shortage in the country, ECCapproved the summary ìallocation of gas from new sources Makori field, Tal Blockí moved by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources by which 75 MMCFD gas will be included in the system.
In the same way the ECC approved gas allocation from OGDCL’s NIM West Field to M/S SSGCL by which 02 MMCFD gas will be included in the system.
The ECC also reviewed key economic indicators. CPI stood at 11.0percent in 2011-12 while it was 13.7percent in 2010-11. WPI remained at 10.4percent in 2011-12 while it was 21.3percent in 2010-11. SPI remained at 7.15percent in 2011-12 while it was 16.6percent in 2010-11.
Large Scale Manufacturing trend has been improved to 1.3percent in May 2012. Exports reached at US$ 24.66 billion and imports were US$ 40.04 billion in 2011-12.
Current Account Deficit remained at $ 586 million in June 2012. Foreign Exchange Reserves remained at $ 14.77 billion on July 20, 2012, informed in ECC.
ECC also discussed the summary ìdelay in submission of case for disposal of surplus stocks of wheat held by PASSCOí observing that case was not processed at appropriate time resulting in substantial loss to public exchequer.
Secretary Cabinet informed ECC that major reasons are due to 1. devolution of Ministry of Food and Agriculture, 2. procedural delays due to lack of requisite data and record during interim arrangements and 3. transfer of PASSCO along with subject from Ministry of Commerce to newly created Ministry of National Food Security and Research.
ECC constituted a committee comprising Ministers for Law, Information and Broadcasting and Adviser to PM on Agriculture and Water Resources to work further on the matter and to formulate a mechanism in order to avoid any future loss to national exchequer.
ECC also discussed summary of storage charges of wheat moved by Ministry of Commerce. Secretary Commerce argued that TCP billed the provincial governments of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit/Baltistan, Government of AJK, USC, Pak-Army and Pak-Navy for recovery of storage charges amounting to a total of Rs. 3,886.605 millions.
Secretary Commerce informed ECC that TCP has vigorously been pursuing all agencies for storage payment but have not been paid since 2009. Secretary requested ECC that Finance Division may be asked to recover the storage charges at source from the Provincial Governments.
After due deliberations, ECC decided to hold a separate meeting between TCP officials and representatives from all provinces and armed forces to discuss the issue in detail and to submit their recommendations to Cabinet Division subsequently.
ECC also discussed summary moved by FBR on waiver of sales tax at import stage to Swede Bus Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd., mentioning company’s request for exemption from sales tax at import stage to discharge its liabilities to the financial institution which are mainly government owned.
Without the settlement of this dispute the company will neitherbe able to sell the buses nor discharge its liabilities and the buseswill turn into scrap, informed in ECC. After much deliberations, the ECC constituted a committee comprising Secretary Industries and Chairman FBR to further investigate into the matter.
The ECC was also informed that 721 decisions have been taken in total 78 ECC meetings since 2008 in which 655 decision implemented. So the percentage of implementation of decision is value 91percent.