PR No. 59 ECC MEETING Islamabad

Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) at the Prime Minister’s Office on Saturday.

The ECC at the outset considered and accorded approval for payment of two months’ salaries to the employees of Pakistan Steel Mills, amounting to Rs.858 million.

ECC allowed WAPDA to raise a loan of Rs.25 billion from local banks under the sovereign guarantee of the Government of Pakistan for making payment of arrears for Net Hydel Profits (NHP) to the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhua, during the current fiscal year 2015-16. A total amount of Rs.70 billion was settled between the Federal and Provincial government of KP on account of uncapped NHP as full and final settlement of the claims. The amount will be paid in 4 tranches comprising Rs. 25 billion in the current financial year and Rs.15 billion every year for the next 3 years.

ECC also extended the date for reduced rate of withholding tax on banking transactions @4% on non-filers till 31st May 2016 under section 236p of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001.

On a proposal made by Ministry of Water and Power for providing “Fiscal Incentives For Promotion of Energy Efficiency and Conservation”, the Chair directed that such proposals could only be entertained through the Finance Bill.  He further desired that Ministry of Industries, Ministry of Climate Change, FBR and Ministry of Water and Power should bring forward a joint proposal to be introduced through the Finance Bill in this respect.

ECC approved extension in the period of Export Processing Zone Status of Duddar Project. The extension will now be available till 14th January 2035 and will facilitate promotion foreign investment of a project in public interest. The recommendation for the extension in this period was given by a special committee formed under the chairmanship of Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Law.

ECC also gave approval to the revision of margins of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and Dealers on petroleum products. According to the recommendation of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, the margins are now linked to CPI. The increase in the margins includes 6 paisas for MS Petrol and HSD for the OMCs; 8 paisas for MS Petrol and 7 paisas on HSD for the Dealers. The new margins will be applicable with effect from 1st July 2016 onwards.