ISLAMABAD - The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Thursday allowed to export 0.5 million metric tons of sugar keeping in view the surplus stock of the commodity in the country.

The ECC meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, has reviewed the sugar stock in the country. The ECC noted the availability of 2.788 million metric tons of sugar in the country and authorised the commerce ministry to allow export of 0.5MMT sugar to sugar mills. The prime minister directed that Inter-Ministerial Committee, already existing for this purpose, should regularly review sugar stock, export and price mechanism and make recommendations to the ECC in case of any abnormal price increase in the domestic market.

The Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) had demanded from the government to allow export of 2 million tons of sugar and give a subsidy of Rs19 per kg to cope with low prices in the international market. However, the top economic decisions-making body of the country allowed exporting 0.5MMT sugar. In July this year, the ECC approved exports of 300,000 tons of sugar, in addition to the export quantity already allowed earlier. The ECC had not approved the subsidy for the export of 300,000 tons of sugar.

Meanwhile, the meeting reviewed the impact of the prime minister’s export package towards boosting the country’s exports. The package worth Rs180 billion provides incentives to the exporters of textile and non-textile sectors for enhancing their export potential. The meeting noted that the package has contributed significantly towards putting the country’s exports into growth trajectory. The meeting also considered various proposals for expanding the scope of the package and to include other sectors into its folds.

The prime minister directed that a committee be constituted comprising of representatives of Finance, Commerce division and FBR to undertake a detailed analysis of the impact of the package and also propose changes in scope and coverage of the package. Pakistan’s exports are continuously declining from last couple of years. Even, the incentive package had failed to boost the exports.

The ECC also approved grant of extension in processing period of export of wheat/wheat products from August 31, 2017 to October 30, 2017. The meeting also approved a proposal by the Petroleum division to reallocate up to 15 MMCFD Jhal Magsi gas to M/s OGDCL and to allow its sale to any third party selected through competitive bidding process under a Term Gas & Purchase Agreement (GSPA) after fulfilling gas requirement of Jhal Magsi town.