ISLAMABAD - The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet has approved supplementary grant worth Rs50 billion on Wednesday, for the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) announced under Prime Minister relief package.

Utility Stores Corporation was further directed by the Chairman ECC to ensure provision of essential items at reduced prices to the people in the wake of current situation in the country due to COVID-19 as well as during the approaching month of Ramadan. Rs. 21 billion have already been disbursed to the USC after December 2019 for the procurement of essential items and the Managing Director USC assured the ECC that it was effectively utilizing its market presence for providing affordable goods to people in this hour of need.

Ramazan relief package is also a part of the grant, which would be effective from April 17. The government would provide basis food commodities at subsidized rates at USC. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue chaired the meeting of the ECC.

Six technical supplementary grants worth Rs1.5b also approved

ECC approved six technical supplementary grants; i)Rs. 842 millions for paying off the Executing Agencies of the Prime Minister’s youth loan scheme during the current financial year.

ii)Rs. 90.459 million for Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), to help PNRA meet its obligations.

iii) Rs. 5.00 million in respect of Punjab Rangers to enable Ministry of Defence to purchase spare parts for the maintenance of helicopter during the current financial year.

iv) Rs. 2.074 million, received as grant from the US Embassy in favor of HQ Frontier Constabulary Peshawar for the construction of Frontier Constabulary Training Center at Michni Shabqadar.

v) US $.1.5 million for the Ministry of energy to pay the legal counsels hired on behalf of the State in the international litigation case against Ms. Karkey.

vi) Rs. 300 million in favor of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to execute the communication campaign for the Ehsaas Program in the next three months.

 

On the summary moved by the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) for the recovery of foreign currency loans from the Private Sector borrowers, i.e Ms Gladari Cement Limited, ECC decided that EAD should resubmit the proposal after consultation with the State Bank of Pakistan.

 

On the proposal by the Ministry of Energy to allow foreign exchange gains/losses in excess of 7% on delayed payment for Kohala Hydro power project, ECC directed State Bank of Pakistan to negotiate with all relevant stakeholders and come up with a viable and practical solution of the issue.

 

The ECC deferred the summary of power division that had worked out a Rs180bn financial plan for implementing the relief package announced by the prime minister last week to minimise the impact of coronavirus pandemic. The ECC did not take up a summary prepared by the petroleum division seeking compensation against foreign exchange losses faced by oil companies in oil pricing.