ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), on a summary submitted by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, approved a proposal regarding necessary amendments and exemptions in Income Tax Ordinance, Sales Tax Act and Custom Act for the Gwadar Port and Gwadar Free Zone. The decisions were taken at a meeting of the ECC held at the Cabinet Block on Wednesday with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the chair. The meeting also approved proposals submitted by the Ministry of Industries & Production for payment of salaries to the employees of Pakistan Machine Tool Factory (PMTF) and Pakistan Steel Mill (PSM) as well as a proposal of the Power Division for payment of electricity charges by the Government of Sindh as Thar subsidy for 4514 domestic consumers of Taluka Islamkot. The ECC directed the Finance Division to release one month’s salary amounting to Rs 355 million for the month of June to the PSM employees and further authorise it to arrange for payment of projected net salary of Rs 4097 million to the PSM employees for the Financial Year 2019-20 to be disbursed every month to PSM. The ECC, on a summary submitted by the Ministry of Energy, also approved a proposal for budgetary allocation on annual basis for payment to Asia Petroleum Limited (APL) through Pakistan State Oil under a technical supplementary grant from the current financial year and onwards against accumulating shortfall in guaranteed throughput due to reduced demand in refined furnace oil by HUBCO, and asked the Ministry of Energy to take quick remedial measures for offsetting the accumulating shortfall by engaging local refineries for using APL’s network as reverse pipeline until the contractual obligation ending in 2027. The ECC was also briefed by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research on the wheat situation in the country with the prices of wheat showing a slight drop in recent days. The ECC was told that the wheat stocks in the country were 7.516 million tons as on 16-08-2019 as compared to 10.950 million tons of the corresponding period of last year. Similarly, around 0.369 million tons of wheat and 0.198 million tons of wheat flour had been exported through sea and land route from the period 01-07-2018 to 16-08-2019.