ECC approves provision of 70mmcfd RLNG to fertiliser plants to reduce import bill

Tarin says government firmly committed to stabilise prices of wheat and ensure its smooth supply at affordable prices across country

ISLAMABAD  –  The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday approved provision of 70mmcfd RLNG to fertiliser plants to reduce the import bill of the country.

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin, presided over the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet held at the Finance Division. Ministry of Industries and Production presented a summary requesting for provision of RLNG to SNGPL based plants (Agritech and Fatima Fertilizer) during Rabi season 2021-22. The ECC approved provision of 70mmcfd RLNG with the direction to hold a consultative session with the representatives of fertilizer manufactures to workout overall demand for urea in the country. The ECC further directed to consider the possibility to import urea (if needed) to maintain buffer stocks.

Officials informed that projected requirement of urea fertiliser is estimated at around 3.2 MMT for Rabi season 2021-22. However, urea demand would be met by domestic production. According to the Ministry of Industries and Production, domestic production of urea fertilizers would slash the urea imports thus will have huge relief on import bill and balance of payments. Moreover, it will ensure availability of fertiliser for farmers at affordable prices.

Latest industry data shows that the urea market remained adequately supplied and, in August this year, offtake rose by 10% to 629,000 tons compared to last year. On a year-to-date basis till August, 4.07 million tons of urea has been sold against 3.78 million tons during the same period last year. Around 184,000 tons of urea inventory is also available with fertilizer manufacturers to meet market needs.

The ECC considered and approved a summary tabled by the Aviation Division for GOP cash support as required by PIAC. The airline has experienced significant dip in revenues and cash flows due to pandemic and unprecedented travel bans/lockdowns imposed by various countries. Moreover, the ECC also approved the enhancement of existing approved guarantee enabling PIAC to overcome its financial challenges.

Ministry of Commerce presented a summary regarding revocation of the conditions of Minimum Export Price (MEP) on export of surgical instruments with the exception of “single-use” surgical instruments. After due deliberation, the ECC approved that the necessary amendments be made in Export Policy Order, 2020 to revoke the condition of MEP in order to make our exports competitive in the global market.

Ministry of National Food Security and Research submitted a summary before the forum for provision of wheat to AJ&K, out of PASSCO stock, for the financial year 2021-22. The ECC approved the provision of 300,000 MT of wheat (in total) to AJ&K at the ratio of 80/20 as mixture of local/imported stock. 

Federal finance minister, as a chairman of ECC, stated that the Government is firmly committed to stabilize prices of wheat and ensure its smooth supply at affordable prices across the country.

The ECC also approved Rs 3860 million in favour of Revenue Division (FBR) as a bridge financing facility to upgrade IT infrastructure in view of increased frequency and severity of cyber attacks to ensure elimination of risk to taxpayers data.

Among others, Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research (NFS&R) Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Zaidi, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, MOS on Information Farrukh Habib, SAPM on Power and Petroleum Tabish Gauhar, federal secretaries, chairman FBR, deputy chairman Planning and other senior officers participated in the meeting. Governor SBP Dr. Reza Baqir also participated through a video link.

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