By Our Staff Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday allowed additional supply of 150 MW power through National Grid to K-Electric so as to address power shortage in Karachi.
Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the ECC meeting, which was convened to deliberate upon various proposals and recommendations submitted the Divisions.
The Power Division had moved a summary to seek ECC’s approval to allow additional supply of power to Karachi.
The ECC also approved additional subsidy of Rs1.8 billion to Tribal Electric Supply Company (TESCO) to supply additional power to seven tribal agencies of ex-Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) during the holy month of Ramadan.
The Power Division informed the committee that the government had been paying the electricity bills of the domestic consumers of former tribal agencies through subsidy of Rs1.3 billion per month.
The ECC also acceded to the proposal of Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority by granting tax exemption to the projects being constructed under Saudi Fund for Development Grant.
On the occasion, Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research gave a presentation to the Committee, updating it about the availability of wheat stock in the country.
He informed that the wheat procurement process was being conducted smoothly by the provincial government (Punjab) and Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO).
The Committee approved the proposed procurement target of wheat crop for the year 2018-19 to the tune of 5.15 million tons with financial limit of Rs.158.5 billion. On the proposal of Ministry of Maritime Affairs, the ECC waived off demurrage (KPT storage charges) on the consignments of rice to be distributed among the needy people by a non-profit welfare organisations working for the poor and the needy people of the country.
The Committee also approved Technical Supplementary and Supplementary Grants for different Ministries/Divisions.
Agreement with IMF to
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said the long-delayed agreement with IMF may help calm the markets. After the agreement the local and foreign investors will be able to take decisions as uncertainty spanned over ten months has subsided, he said.
Talking to the business community, Mian Zahid Hussain said that the country is also facing challenge of facing the FATF which has grey listed Pakistan and hoped that the new economic team would tackle it successfully.
The veteran business leader said that after the IMF deal, the international institutions will feel comfortable to deal with Pakistan, therefore, the government should keep economic revival on the top of its preferences list.
The government should not waste time in blaming the former government and give proper attention to the economy, he added.