ISLAMABAD-The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday has approved ‘Mark up subsidy for Housing Finance’ worth Rs33 billion as proposed by Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NPHDA). The ECC, which was chaired by Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, has approved “Mark up subsidy for Housing Finance”, proposed by Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority. Prime Minister Imran Khan on July 10, 2020 had announced special incentives for housing and construction sector to revive economic development amid COVID-19 pandemic. Markup subsidy shall be provided for 10 years on bank financing. Accordingly, end user markup rate on housing units measuring up to five marla will be 5 per cent for first five years and 7 per cent for next five years. For housing units measuring 10 marla, end user markup rate will be 7 per cent for first five years and nine per cent for next five years. The subsidy will be given on units where the price of the housing unit does not exceed Rs3.5 million for 3-5 Marla and is not more than Rs6 million in case of 10 Marla House. Rs 33 billion were allocated for the loan tenor of 10 years with Rs4.77 billion to be allocated in the current financial year for the payment of markup this year.

The ECC decided to allocate 150,000 metric tonnes of wheat to the Pakistan Army from PASSCO resources on payment basis for the year 2020-2021. The ECC has also approved the prices of tobacco recommended by the Price and Grade Revision Committee in pursuance of section 8(1) of the PTB Ordinance 1968. ECC also directed that the MNFSR shall also give a detailed presentation on the mechanism of determination of prices and will also point out the gaps in the system.

The ECC also approved allocation of Rs41.8 million for Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication/ NITB for deployment of systems, data analysis, modelling and mobile apps for NCOC stakeholders and Government Departments with the instructions that wherever possible the budget may be rationalized/ minimized with the consultation of Finance Division.

The ECC also approved the Establishment of Balochistan Mineral Exploration Company Limited with the support of the Federal Government. It will be joint venture of GoP with the Government of Balochistan for formation and operations of BMEC with 10 per cent shareholding amounting to Rs320 million to be injected in two equal tranches through Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation. The Petroleum Division and PMDC are authorised to execute the shareholders agreement and complete all required legal, regulatory and corporate formalities in connection with formation, incorporation and equity participation in BMEC.

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research brought a proposal to the ECC on (utilisation) of the Fiscal package of Rs100 billion allocated for the Agriculture and SME sector out of the Rs1200 billion fiscal package of the PM on COVID -19. On the request of the MNFSR, ECC approved allocation of Rs15.7 billion, earmarked for nitrogenous fertilizers to be diverted to phosphate and Potash fertilizers. It was also decided to immediately release and disburse the subsidy on whitefly pesticides. Rs1.5 billion subsidy for tractors and markup of Rs6.8 billion on all loans for 12.5 acres of land holdings disbursed by ZTBL with passbook as collateral for FY 2020-21 only (to be adjusted through book and tax adjustment of SBP and FBR respectively) were approved. ECC directed MNFSR to properly monitor and evaluate the mechanism of disbursement of various subsidies for maintaining transparency of the system and to ensure that benefit reaches to the small farmers.