ECC allows TCP to import 200,000 tonnes of wheat
August 21, 2020
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has allowed the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to place an order for the import of 200,000 tonnes of wheat in the public sector following the import of 500,000 tonnes of wheat by the private sector in the country. The ECC chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh gave the TCP a go-ahead for the import of 200,000 tonnes of wheat for PASSCO after the Ministry of National Food Security and Research Secretary Omar Hamid Khan told the ECC that 500,000 tonnes of wheat was also being imported by the private sector and the first shipment was already scheduled to reach the country’s port on 26th August 2020. It was observed that the arrival of 700,000 tonnes of wheat in the next couple of months would help defuse price volatility, overcome shortage and discourage hoarding of this essential commodity in the country. The ECC further tasked the Secretary National Food Security and Research along with Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar to consult with the provincial governments whether they would like to purchase any amount of wheat at the rates offered to TCP by global suppliers since the global wheat prices generally remain on the lower side in the months of July and August. The ECC also took up a proposal for the import of sugar through the private importers in view of fast depleting stocks of sugar which currently stood at 1.2 million tonnes but were likely to exhaust by early November 2020, and decided to reduce the levy of sales tax and other duties on the import of sugar by the private importers to keep the landed cost at the lowest possible level to allow a fair and affordable price to the consumers. It also took up the issue of waiver of demurrage charges on Afghan Transit Trade cargo stranded at Karachi ports in view of the matter being a Force Majeure and the past three instances similar waivers, and asked the Ministry of Maritime Affairs to take up the issue with the port authorities and terminal operators for its amicable resolution. On a proposal by the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division), the ECC took up the issue of Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL) expired agreement with Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC) and gave principled approval for resumption of LPG/NGL and production from the JJVL plant under proposed conditions subject to their endorsement from the Office of Attorney General. Rational behind the decision was to reduce the import of LPG when domestic production was possible. The ECC also discussed and approved a proposal by the Finance Division for fixation of dividend on SBP shares and allowed the bank to provide dividend at the rate of 10% on the face value of SBP shares in the Bank’s annual accounts for the year ended 30th June 2020.