ISLAMABAD - Noting constant shortage of sugar, Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet allowed import of another 100,000 tones of the commodity, besides ordering fresh action against the hoarders. The ECC meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, took place here on Tuesday. According to officials privy to the meeting, the Finance Minister asked the Ministry of Industries to rein in the cartel of sugar millers who were not fulfilling their commitments made with the government. The Finance Minister also asked the Ministry of Industries to deal the sugar manipulators with an iron hand irrespective of their linkages in the powerful political quarters, the officials added. Earlier, an official handout of the ECC stated that the committee took serious notice of the sugar shortage, especially at the outlets of the Utility Stores Corporation (USC), and directed the Ministry of Industries to take stern administrative action against the culprits responsible for creating hurdles in the smooth supply of the commodity. The ECC allowed the Ministry of Industries to import one hundred thousand tons of sugar to meet any emergent demand of sugar in near future, it added. Keeping in view the export parity price, low domestic prices, cost escalating factors and future forecast of the supply and demand, the ECC approved Rs 1250 per 40 kilogram as the intervention price for paddy 2009-10 crop of Super Basmati, Rs 1000 for Basmati-385, and Rs 600 for IRRI paddy. While reviewing the issue of transportation of the imported wheat from Karachi to the rest of the country, the ECC decided that the provinces would be responsible for transportation of the imported wheat. The preference for the mode of transportation will be Railways, National Logistic Cell (NLC) and the private transport contractors and companies. Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) will establish effective coordination with the provinces for efficient and timely measures for transportation of the imported wheat, the ECC decided. On the issue of additional charges for transportation of the imported urea from Gawadar Port, the ECC approved the additional freight charges from Gawadar to Karachi. According to the ECC approval, the rates would apply from December 22, 2008, to March 31, 2009 at Rs 798,209,950; April 1 to August 12, 2009, the freight would be Rs 713,980,518 to make total at Rs 1,512,000,468. The ECC also allowed issuance of Finance Ministry (Government of Pakistan) guarantee to Rs 1075 million in favour of the National Bank of Pakistan for rescheduling loan of Telephone Industries of Pakistan (TIP). The ECC was informed that total stock of wheat as on August 23, 2009 amounted to 9.599 million tons as against 3.623 million tons in the same period last year, thereby, showing a higher stock of about 5.976 million tons. The trade deficit eased down by 31.09 per cent to $ 1.15 billion in July 2009-10 from $ 1.66 billion in the same period last year. The foreign exchange reserves stood at $ 13.1 billion as on August 28, 2009 up from $ 6.4 billion on November 25, 2008. The provisional Federal Board of Revenue tax collection stood at Rs 74.07 billion on net basis during July 2009-10 as compared to Rs 72.36 billion in the same period last year. Overseas workers remittances amounted to $ 747.2 million in July 2009-10 as against $ 627.2 million, showing an increase of 19.13 per cent over the same period last year. Monthly core inflation rate has decreased 15.9 per cent in June 2009 to 14.0 per cent in July 2009.