PR No. 83 Finance Minister chairs ECC Meeting Islamabad: January 11, 2017

The Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet here at the Prime Minister’s Office today.

The Finance Division informed the ECC about the latest key economic indicators, including reviews of product’s prices, inflation, commodity stock position, energy figures, foreign exchange reserves, foreign investment, trade performance and tax revenues. ECC was informed that headline inflation measured by CPI increased by 3.7% in December 2016 compared to 3.8% in November 2016. On average, during July-December FY 2017, CPI is recorded at 3.88%. ECC was apprised that the reported stock of wheat as on January 03, 2017, is 7.5 million tons showing that sufficient quantity of local wheat is available for daily releases to mills by Provincial Food Departments and PASSCO. The Finance Division informed the ECC that the stock of various POL products averaged 34 days on January 10, 2017. It was also informed that production in the Large Scale Manufacturing sector stood at 2% in July-October FY 2017. ECC was apprised that worker remittances received during July-December FY 2017 amounted to US$ 9,459 million. It was also informed that gross foreign exchange reserves stood at US$ 23.183 billion as on January 09, 2017.

ECC approved the summary submitted by Finance Division regarding the Prime Minister’s Package of Incentives for Exporters which has been formulated with a view to mitigate exporters’ difficulties and enhance the country’s exports. The package will have an estimated financial impact of Rs. 180 billion,and is applicable for the period from January 16, 2017, till June 30, 2018. The incentives for FY 2017-18 would only be available to those exporters who would achieve an increase of 10% in their exports as compared to their exports for FY 2016-17.

ECC approved the proposal of Ministry of Water & Power to extend the closing date of collection of Neelum Jhelum Surcharge at Rs. 0.10/kWh up to June 30, 2018, for the Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project. The previous closing date for the surcharge was December 31, 2016. The extension in the closing date for a period of 18 months up till June 30, 2018, is expected to result in collection of Rs. 9 billion which will assist in ensuring successful completion of the project.

In pursuance of the decision of the Council of Common Interests (CCI), ECC approved the proposal of Ministry of Water & Power for issuance of Letter of Comfort / GoP guarantee by Finance Division to WAPDA for settlement of Net Hydel Profit claims of Government of Punjab.