The Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet here at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat on Monday evening.
ECC considered and approved the export of 100,000 metric tons Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN) on the recommendation of the Fertilizer Review Committee, chaired by Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production. The Committee observed that there was sufficient quantity of CAN available in the country and allowed its export subject to the condition that manufacturers would not increases domestic price and would provide an end user certificate that CAN would be used for agriculture purposes only.
In order to discourage the import of wheat in the country, ECC approved the proposal sent by Ministry of National Food Security and Research to increase the regulatory duty on the import of wheat from 40% to 60%. The decision was taken to protect the local farmers from the impact of falling international wheat prices.
The ECC also approved extension of reduced withholding tax rate of 0.4% for non- filers under Section 236P of Income Tax ordinance 2001 up to 31 December, 2016.
The ECC also granted approval for initiation of negotiation between BankMarkazi Jomhouri Islamic Iran and State Bank of Pakistan on signing of Agreement regarding Banking and Payment Arrangements (BPA).
Further, the ECC gave approval for reducing relending rate of foreign loans / for Federal Government Department, like NLC, Civil Aviation Authority etc, Autonomous bodies, and DFIs by 3 percent as compared with the relending rate approved in the Relending Policy of 2009. The ECC also decided that the relending policy would again review after a period of 3 years.
Finally, on a previous summary presented by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research seeking approval for import of 25,000 metric tons of gram pulse, the ECC considered a report submitted by Chairman Board of Investment and decided that the Federal Government should not intervene and the Provincial Governments may be advised to fix retail prices and force those through food inspectors. Further, permission was given for scoping tenders by TCP.