The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal cabinet has approved revocation of Neelum Jhelum (NJ) surcharge @ Re0.1 per KWH with immediate effect. Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting on Friday. The Ministry of Energy presented the summary about revocation of NJ surcharge. The surcharge was imposed in the year 2007 for part financing of Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project with a sunset clause of Dec 31, 2015 — the completion target of the project started at the time with an estimated cost of Rs130 billion. The ECC considered another summary by the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) regarding tax on payments to the offshore supply contractor to meet the contractual obligation. The ECC established a sub-committee comprising SAPM on petroleum, secretary law, secretary power and chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) with a direction to evaluate the proposal and present workable recommendations before the forum for consideration. The Ministry of Industries and Production presented a summary before ECC regarding revision of subsidised prices of essential commodities by the Utility Stores Corporation (USC), in accordance with the earlier directive of ECC, dated 28 January, 2021. The secretary industries and production presented various proposals to rationalise prices of wheat flour, sugar and ghee in view of continuous fluctuations in international commodity prices. After detailed discussion, the ECC approved only partial rationalisation and directed to provide maximum relief to the consumers despite significant price differential between subsidised price offered by the USC and the prevailing prices in the domestic markets. However, according to sources, the ECC has increased the price of ghee at utility stores by up to Rs30 per kg. The ECC also approved another summary by the Ministry of Industries and Production for outstanding payment to M/s Ocean Wide Shipping Services, amounting to $0.58 million from Pakistan Steel Mills to fulfil a contractual obligation for transportation of coal during the year 2010. Secretary information technology and telecommunication presented a summary regarding taxation issues of the telecom sector. The ECC had earlier constituted a sub-committee dated 20 Oct, 2020, under the chairmanship of the Adviser to the PM Dr Ishrat Hussain, for due deliberation. The sub-committee presented its recommendations before ECC. The committee approved these recommendations as endorsed by FBR.