Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi today chaired a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s office yesterday. The meeting approved a proposal submitted by the Commerce Ministry to allocate additional quantity of 12 million kilograms of surplus tobacco to all the tobacco companies and dealers on pro-rata basis. The ECC also approved a proposal to deregulate the margins on High-Speed Diesel for the Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) and dealers under the policy of liberalization and deregulation. The impact of the policy would be reviewed after three months.
It was also decided that OMCs would add Fuel Marker in HSD within six months at depot stage to avoid adulteration. It was decided that OGRA would develop a mechanism to monitor the OMCs commercial stock position, the dealers inventory system and Fuel Marker System.
The ECC provided a provisional approval of the issuance of Government of Pakistan’s sovereign guarantee for Rs. 39,000 million for construction of 2X660MW Coal Power Project Jamshoro, subject a third part evaluation especially pertaining to demand and supply situation.
The ECC also extended the period of provision of subsidy to agricultural tube-well consumers in Balochistan till 31 December 2017 subject to commitment of past payments by all concerned/stakeholders on same terms and conditions as approved earlier by the ECC on 17.06.2015. The approval is linked with a comprehensive review of solarization of the tube-wells to be undertaken on a priority basis in order to save electricity bills and the subsidy being provided by the federal and the provincial governments. The need to put in place efficient irrigation methods likes drip-irrigation were also emphasized by the meeting.
The ECC approved a summary for extending the period of applicability of reduced rate of 0.4% advance income tax on banking transactions of non-filers under section 236P of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 upto December 2017.
In order to promote exports, the ECC approved a proposal that 50% of the export package incentive for eligible textile and non-textile sectors, announced in Prime Minister’s Export Package, be provided on the same terms as for the period January to June 2017 without condition of increment. Remaining 50% of the rate of incentive would be provided if the exporter achieves an increase of 10% or more in exports as compared to the corresponding period of the last year. It was also approved that an additional 2% drawback would be provided for export to non-traditional markets. Besides, expeditious settlement of payments claims by the State Bank of Pakistan was also approved.
Various measures for rationalization of imports and reducing the import bill were also suggested by Commerce division and Federal Board of Revenue. The detailed lists of import items would be reviewed and finalized.