ISLAMABAD-The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved in principal to allow Economic Affairs Division (EAD) to sign an MoU for availing the G-20 relief initiative subject to the approval of the Cabinet.

Pakistan is required to enter into this MoU with all official bilateral creditors including Paris Club creditors to implement the debt relief initiative of G-20. Chairman ECC Hafeez Shaikh unequivocally informed the forum that Pakistan has no intension of seeking any kind of relief for repayment of its commercial loans/ borrowings. He also informed that Pakistan has the means and will to honor its commercial commitments.

Around $1.8 billion due in debt servicing to G-20 countries are under process of rescheduling by December 2020. Pakistan would have to pay $1.8 billion out of total $20.7 billion to the 11 countries of Group of 20 rich nations by December this year. The $1.8 billion amount included $1.47 billion as principal loans and $323 million as interest. Pakistan will have to pay $613 million as Saudi debt and $309 million as Chinese debt, $23 million to Canada, $183 million to France, $99 million to Germany, $6 million to Italy, $373 million to Japan, $47 million to South Korean, $14 million to Russia, $1 million to UK and $128 million to the US.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet here at the Prime Minister’s Office.

ECC also approved the proposal of the Revenue Division for declaration of multi-modal transit hub Jia Bagga NLC Transit Port as Customs Clearance port under Section 9 of the Customs Act 1969. In order to reduce the capacity charges of power generation companies through synthetic financing, ECC approved the ToRs for negotiations with IPPs/Gencos as recommended by a committee constituted by the CCOE vide its decision dated April 2nd 2020 under the chairmanship of Minister for Power and comprising SAPM on Mineral Resources, Secretary Finance Division, Secretary Power and Secretary Law and Justice Division, The committee will submit its report in due course.

In order to manage and operate the Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund 2020, ECC approved the constitution of the Policy Committee with the following members; Prime Minister of Pakistan as Chairman and other members included Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives, Adviser to PM on Finance and Revenue, Adviser to PM on Commerce and Investment, SA PM on Poverty alleviation and social safety, Prime Minister’s Focal person for Corona Philanthropy Drive, Secretary Finance Division and Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety as Secretary of the committee.

Terms of reference for the proposed committee would be as under: 1) to decide on the appropriate usage of the proceeds deposited in the fund including means of identification of the beneficiaries of the fund and the parameters of their selection. 2) To decide about the means of disbursement of assistance to the beneficiaries and to take any appropriate decisions for collection of donations, maintenance and administration of the fund and related matters.

In order to devise a comprehensive policy to incentivize “Smart phone manufacturing in Pakistan” ECC constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Industries and Production and with members from Ministries of IT and Industries, Board of Investment and Engineering Development Board. The Committee shall bring its proposals after consultation with all the relevant stakeholders in due course.

ECC also assigned the role of Chairman, to Hammad Azhar, being the Federal Minister for Industries and production, of the Committee to oversee the effective utilization of subsidies, Ramazan relief package and PM’s relief Package of 50 billion by Utility Stores Corporation.

The following Technical supplementary Grants were approved by ECC a) Rs. 360.515 million for the repair and maintenance of Supreme Court of Pakistan Buildings in Islamabad and various cities. b) Rs. 3.836 billion in favor of Ministry of Housing and Works to execute development schemes in the Sindh Province and Rs. 291 million in favor of Ministry of Housing and Works/ Pak. PWD for payment of salary of maintenance staff of Pak. PWD.