ISLAMABAD, Oct 2: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet approved a proposal on Wednesday to import 500,000 tons of urea fertiliser for the Rabi season from the open international market.
A meeting of the ECC, presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, directed the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to ensure shipment of 300,000 tons of urea in November and 200,000 tons in December.
It directed the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to ensure supply of gas during Rabi to domestic fertiliser units in accordance with their quota allocations to enable them to meet their production targets.
The meeting constituted a committee headed by Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Mohammad Asif and comprising Board of Investment Chairman Zubair Umar, the chief executive of Engineering Development Board, Chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue and secretary of industries to prepare an automobile policy in 45 days.
The committee was directed to seek views of representatives of automobile manufacturers and car vendors and circulate the draft policy widely to elicit proposals from stakeholders.
An official who attended the meeting said that none of the seven ministers and several federal secretaries present in the meeting said any thing about the increase in electricity tariff announced two days ago. When the finance minister took up the matter, Khwaja Asif and Information Minister Pervez Rashid said they had addressed concerns raised by the media.
An official statement said the ECC noted with satisfaction that benchmarks agreed with the IMF had been achieved in the first quarter.
The meeting approved a proposal by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research for release of the second tranche of 75,000 tons of wheat through the World Food Programme for providing food support to 175,500 displaced families of Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
It directed the National Fertiliser Marketing Limited (NFML), Utility Stores Corporation (USC) and Finance Division to reconcile their payments with the TCP in two weeks so to clear the dues.
Representatives of the NFML said that Rs1.3 billion had been paid to the TCP on Wednesday.
The ECC directed Ministry of Industries to reconcile outstanding amounts of the USC and the TCP in eight weeks.
The meeting instructed the secretary of finance to ensure that funds on account of subsidy were released to the TCP so that the import of urea and other activities of the corporation remained unaffected.
It noted with satisfaction that the quarterly release of urea subsidy of Rs.7.5 billion was being made to the TCP.
The meeting approved a proposal of the Ministry of Commerce and Textile Industry to withdraw its decision of July 3, 2012 to restructure the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC).
It decided to reconstitute the committee with 18 members, one each from the four provinces, chairmen of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Karachi Cotton Association and Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association, minister of textile industry, secretaries of the textile industry, finance, planning and development, national food security, vice president of the PCCC and secretaries of agriculture of Sindh and Punjab.
The ECC decided to hire an experienced and senior research scientist for the post of vice president of the PCCC through an advertisement in newspapers.
The meeting was informed that the country’s year-on-year inflation rate (CPI Index) had registered an increase of 7.4 per cent in September, defying predictions about higher rate as the inflation had registered an increase of 8.5 per cent in August an 8.3 per cent in July.
The meeting expressed satisfaction at the present wheat stock of 6.7 million tons on Sept 25