ECC approves release of 60,000mt wheat for displaced families

Summery also approved to lift ban on import of live animals

ISLAMABAD – The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Friday approved immediate release of 60,000mt of wheat for distribution among the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of the North Waziristan Agency.

The ECC met here under the chairmanship of Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Senator Ishaq Dar at the PM's Office and was informed that the financial impact of the decision will be Rs 2.28 billion. It further decided to set up a committee, headed by Minister for State and Frontier Region Abdul Qadir Baloch, to ascertain the distribution mechanism, being followed for distribution of wheat among the displaced persons.

The other members of the committee included Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi, secretaries, Ministry of National Food Security and Commerce and a representative of Pakhtunkhwa governor. In his opening remarks, the finance minister said that the concerned ministries should submit their summaries well in advance and necessary background information must be provided, enabling concerned departments to provide their considered inputs before decision making process.

He said that the mover of the summary should be fully aware and updated to answer any supplementary questions. He added that inter-ministerial comments should be obtained prior to the ECC meetings. The minister said that once a decision is taken, it is expected that the Secretary concerned will follow-up the decision till its logical conclusion.

He further said that budgetary implications must be clearly spelt out in the summary and how will the additional amounts be adjusted in the budget. The ECC on a summary of Ministry of Commerce approved lifting of ban on import of live animals from countries, which have been declared as negligible risk by World Animal Health Organization (OIE), excluding Israel.

However, the ban on import of feeds containing meat, bone meal and greaves etc. derives from BSE infected animals, commonly known as mad cow disease, shall continue. It was also decided that animals from only such herds shall be allowed for import where there has been no reported case of BSE for the last eleven years, duly certified by the veterinary authority of the exporting country.

It may be mentioned that in June 2001, a ban was imposed for import of live animals; meat etc from BSE infected countries. In May 2013, OIE updated the risk status and allowed import of live animals and other products from negligible risk status of 25 countries. The ECC also approved the summary of Ministry of Commerce for extension of deadline, up to Oct,31, 2014, for export of 0.25 million MT of sugar which was already approved by ECC in its meeting held on March 27,2014.

The ECC further decided to extend the shipment period from 45 to 90 days for export and reduce advance deposit from 25% to 15%. It was further decided that there will be no confiscation of advance deposits by the exporter if they fulfill their quota in 90 days. The ECC on the recommendation of the Ministry of Industries and Production, decided to approve average transportation cost of Rs 20 per 50Kg of imported urea bag from the National Fertilizer Marketing Limited warehouses to dealers store in order to facilitate farmers in upcoming cultivation season.

This will entail a subsidy of Rs.150 million to the government exchequer. The ECC also approved a summary of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for allowing import of CNG cylinders/kits/parts thereof for conversion of vehicles at manufacturing/assembling facilities of original equipment manufacturers (OEMS). The meeting was also attended by federal ministers Khawaja Mohammad Asif, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Zahid Hamid, Sikandar Hayat Bosan, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Abbas Khan Afridi besides federal secretaries and other senior government officials.



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