ISLAMABAD: Federal Cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Friday approved immediate release of 60,000 metric tonnes (MT) of wheat amounting to Rs 2.28 billion for the provision of food assistance to the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in the backdrop of Zarb-e-Azb operation that has caused large-scale exodus.
The ECC has formed a committee to monitor the distribution process, Federal Minister for SAFRON Abdul Qadir Baloch would head the panel. The other members of the committee include Abbas Khan Afridi Minister for Textile Industry, secretaries Ministry of National Food Security and Ministry of Commerce and a representative of Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar chairing the meeting said the ministries concerned should submit their summaries well in advance and necessary background information should be provided enabling the concerned departments to provide their considered inputs before decision making process. He said the mover of the summary should be fully aware and updated to answer any supplementary questions. He said inter-ministerial comments should be obtained prior to the ECC meetings.
Once a decision is taken, it is expected the secretary concerned will follow-up the decision till its logical conclusion. He said budgetary implications should be clearly spelt out in the summary and how would the additional amounts be adjusted in the budget, Dar said.
The ECC approved lifting of ban on import of live animals from countries, which have been declared as negligible risk by World Animal Health Organisation (OIE), excluding Israel. However, the ban on import of feeds containing meat, bone meal and greaves etc derives from Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) infected animals, commonly known as mad cow disease, would continue. Similarly ECC has also allowed import of Compressed Natural Gas cylinders/kits/parts thereof for conversion of vehicles at manufacturing/assembling facilities of original equipment manufacturers (OEMS).
It was decided in the meeting animals from those herds would 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 in June 2001, a ban was imposed for import of live animals and 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 October 21, 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 decided to extend the shipment period from 45 to 90 days for export and reduce advance deposit from 25 percent to 15 percent. It was decided there would be no confiscation of advance deposits by the exporter if they fulfill their quota in 90 days.
ECC on the recommendation of the Ministry of Industries and Production has decided to approve average transportation cost of Rs 20 per 50 kilogrammes 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.
Khawaja Mohammad Asif Minster for Water and Power, Senator Pervaiz Rashid Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi Minister for Industries and Production, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Zahid Hamid Minister for Science and Technology, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan Minister for National Food Security, Khawaja Saad Rafiq Minister for Railways, Abbas Khan Afridi Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, federal secretaries and senior officials of the government attended the meeting.
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