Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, chaired the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet today.
The State Bank of Pakistan presented a summary regarding “Refinance and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Collateral Free Lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)” to facilitate SMEs which do not have collateral to get financing from banks.
The proposed scheme will enable the SBP to partner with selected banks through a transparent procedure and provide collateral-free financing to SMEs to promote sustainable economic growth and development in the country. The ECC approved the summary and directed the SBP to develop a comprehensive monitoring mechanism with clear-cut benchmarks for effective performance evaluation of the scheme.
SAPM on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr. Sania Nishtar presented a summary regarding the allocation of funds for launching the 2nd phase of the Ehsaas Emergency Cash (EEC) program. It was proposed that a number of regular Ehsaas Kafalat beneficiaries would be increased and additional beneficiaries would be added (after identification through ongoing NSER) to mitigate economic hardships amid the COVID-19 pandemic during the second phase of EEC.
After due deliberations, the ECC recommended the Ehsaas program to evaluate whether the new NSER survey targets those sectors which have been adversely affected due to smart and micro lockdowns during COVID-19 and present an updated proposal before the Committee. The underlying rationale is to provide targeted subsidies to support the most vulnerable segments of the society during the third wave of the pandemic.
Secretary Power placed a summary before the Committee for allocation of 3.0 MMCFD gas from well NF Hor-1 (RE) to M/S PPL, for a period of two years, for sale to any third party selected through a competitive bidding process at a mutually agreed and negotiated price under a Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement (GSPA).
The ECC considered and approved the summary with a direction that such summaries may be dealt with at the level of the concerned Ministry/Division after fulfilling all codal formalities.
The ECC evaluated a summary by the Board of Investment (BOI) regarding exemption from minimum Turnover Tax under Special Economic Zones Act 2012 to facilitate both SEZ developers and its enterprises. After detailed discussion, the Committee directed the Law Division, FBR, and BOI to firm up proposals through mutual consultation regarding the implementation of the exemption from minimum Turnover Tax and present before the next ECC for requisite approval.
The Ministry of Privatization made a detailed presentation before the ECC regarding the grant of the National Security Certificate (NSC) and outstanding payables and recoverable issues of Karachi Electric. Federal Minister for Planning and Energy updated the forum about the principles agreed between the Federal Government and the K-Electric to resolve most of their long-standing issues regarding additional supply and payment procedures during the last meeting.
The ECC appreciated the efforts made by all concerned and directed to expedite the signing of the new Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for a smooth payment mechanism and uninterrupted power supply to Karachi. The ECC also accorded approval for settlement of issues out of past transactions through Arbitration. The Federal Minister for Energy informed the Committee that the new PPA would be signed with the K-Electric soon.
The ECC also considered and approved a summary presented by the Ministry of Commerce about condonation of delay of late shipment of vehicles imported by overseas Pakistanis subject to compliance with all other conditions of import.
The following Technical Supplementary Grants were approved by the ECC:
• Rs. 100 million for the Ministry of Defence Production for Project Management Cell for Gwadar Shipyard
• Rs. 3 billion in favor of the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan to meet the employee-related expenses.
• Rs. 7.2 billion for the Ministry of Housing and Works for the execution of various development schemes.
• Rs. 85 million for the Ministry of Industries and Production for meeting necessary expenditure.
• Rs. 89.279 million for the Petroleum Division for the supply of gas to Allama Iqbal Industrial City (SEZ).
• Rs. 01 billion for the Ministry of Climate Change for the PSDP Project titled “Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Program Phase-I”.
• Rs. 317 million for the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication for meeting the shortfall of funds for the purchase of IT equipment by NITB.
• Rs. 4.8 million for the Ministry of Housing and Works for the repair and maintenance of Abandoned Property House, Islamabad.
• Rs. 96.418 million for the Ministry of Housing and Works for meeting necessary expenses.
• Rs. 45 million for the Ministry of Housing and Works for National Housing Authority (NEW; Policy and Planning Wing).
• Rs. 7.5 billion for the Ministry of Railways for Payment of Pay and Pensions dues of employees.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Energy Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, Federal Minister for Privatization Muhammad Mian Soomro, Federal Minister for Railways Azam Swati, Adviser to the PM on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, SAPM on Alleviation and Social protection Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Finance and Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, SAPM on Power and Petroleum Tabish Gauhar, Chairman BOI, Chairman FBR, Federal Secretaries and other senior officers participated in the meeting. Governor SBP Dr. Reza Baqir also participated through a video link.
Source: Pro Pakistani