Pakistan

ECC approves Ramazan Package for USC

Aftab Ahmed

Islamabad: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of Federal Cabinet has approved Rs 2.5 billion Ramazan Package to USC for the provision of 19 essential items on subsidized rates, it is learnt reliably on Wednesday.

However, the ECC refused to further subsidize the already five essential items at reduced rate when compared with the open market and included 14 more items in the list by allocating of Rs 2.5 billion for the relief during the holy month of Ramazan, sources in the Industry Ministry revealed to Newztodays.com

The USC is providing subsidized 5 essential items include sugar at Rs 68 per kg, Atta 20 kg bag at Rs 800, oil/ghee (not branded) at Rs 170 per kg, rice at Rs 139 to 149 and pulses at Rs 130 to 160 per kg.

According to official hand out of finance ministry, the ECC, which met under the chair of Dr Hafeez Sheikh, has approved Rs 50 billion (as TSG) for the Utility Stores Corporation announced under PM relief package.

Utility Stores Corporation was further directed by the Chairman ECC to be ensured provision of essential items at reduced prices to the people in the wake of current situation prevalent in the country due to COVID-19 as well as during the approaching month of Ramadan. Rs. 21 billion have already been disbursed to the USC after December 2019 for the procurement of essential items and the MD, USC assured the ECC that it is effectively utilizing its market presence for providing affordable goods to people in this hour of need.

The ECC has also approved six technical supplementary grants namely:

i) Rs. 842 millions for paying off the Executing Agencies of the Prime Minister’s youth loan scheme during the current financial year.

ii) Rs. 90.459 million for Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority, to help PNRA meet its obligations.

iii) Rs. 5.00 million in respect of Punjab Rangers to enable Ministry of Defence to purchase spare parts for the maintenance of helicopter during the current financial year.

iv) Rs. 2.074 million, received as grant from the US Embassy in favor of HQ Frontier Constabulary Peshawar for the construction of Frontier Constabulary Training Center at Michni Shabqadar.

v) US $.1.5 million for the Ministry of energy to pay the legal counsels hired on behalf of the State in the international litigation case against Ms. Karkey.

vi) Rs. 300 million in favor of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to execute the communication campaign for the Ehsaas Program in the next three months.

On the summary moved by the Economic Affairs Division for the recovery of foreign currency loans from the Private Sector borrowers, i.e Ms Gladari Cement Limited, ECC decided that EAD should resubmit the proposal after consultation with State Bank of Pakistan.

On the proposal by the Ministry of Energy for allowing foreign exchange gains/losses in excess of 7% on delayed payment for Kohala Hydro power project, ECC directed State Bank of Pakistan to negotiate with all relevant stakeholders and come up with a viable and practical solution of the issue.

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