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ECC approves five uplift projects for Karachi’s two industrial zones

ECC approves five uplift projects for Karachi’s two industrial zones
July 15, 2020
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired a meeting of the Economic Coordination Council (ECC) at the Prime Minister’s office on Wednesday. Five projects of different types of development works in North West Industrial Zone and South West Industrial Zone by Port Qasim Authority with their own funds were approved by the ECC with the direction to the Ministry and PQA to observe all the codal formalities for the completion of the projects. In order to ensure the availability of wheat and flour in the country throughout the year and on affordable price, the ECC directed Ministry of National Food Security and Research to accelerate efforts for wheat imports. The ECC directed that the Ministry of NFSR should hold meeting with the major importers of wheat at the earliest and come up with proposals that may indicate that what will be the expected price of the imported wheat and if there is any need for the government to allow subsidy on the product to keep the prices stable in the domestic markets. Ministry of NFSR briefed the ECC that combined together the provincial governments and PASSCO have already achieved 79% of their procurement targets. More than 120 importers have so far shown interest to import wheat in the country. The ECC directed that Ministry of NFSR to extend requested facilitation to the importers, including waivers of different taxes and duties. It was also assigned by the ECC that provincial governments, Trade Corporation of Pakistan and PASSCO may arrange wheat imports as soon as possible to avoid shortages any time during the year. The ECC also allowed the Asian Development Bank to issue offshore Pakistan Rupee Linked Bonds for international investors subject to completion of all codal formalities. The program, according to the recommendation of SBP, shall be restricted to maximum of US$200 million. The local currency proceeds of the Bonds shall be used for financing long term infrastructure and energy projects in Pakistan. The ECC also allowed Finance Division to release Rs 1 billion to SSGCL for undertaking gas supply to localities/ villages falling within 5 KM radius of gas fields in order to comply with Supreme Court and High court decisions. It allowed equity investment abroad amounting to SAR 22.5 million by Eastern Products Ltd. On this occasion, the forum also approved the increase of limit for investments abroad (to be approved/allowed by SBP) from US$5 million to US$10 million beyond which the permission will have to be sought from the ECC. For the implementation of the E-office program, ECC directed Ministry of Information Technology and FIA to withdraw complaint against LMKR as well as withdrawal of all inquiries by the FIA on projects of LMKR subject to fulfilment of agreement clauses. The Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives was directed to activate the project on the request of NITB and provide requisite funds to complete the work.