ISLAMABAD  - The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Thursday decided to import 100,000 tons of urea fertilizer for Kharif season and approved to release of two months salaries for the employees of Pakistan Steel Mills.

The ECC, which met under the chair of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, has discussed and approved the import of 100,000 tons of Urea Fertilizer for Kharif season 2015 (April-Sept 2015). The ECC also decided to enhance the imported supply of 82,000 tons approximately under SABIC (Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation) facility within the earlier allocated amount. Moreover the ECC allowed agreement between EAD and SABIC in order to ensure timely arrival of urea fertilizer for the Kharif season 2015. The Chair also directed that steps should be taken to improve domestic production of Urea which could help cut down the country’s import bill.

On a summary moved by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, the ECC noted the changes in the Petroleum Products Ordinance 1961, as agreed and proposed by the Committee comprising Secretary Finance, Secretary P& NR, Secretary Law, Justice and HR and Member Gas OGRA formed on 9th April 2015. According to the new arrangement RLNG will be treated as a petroleum product and its pricing can be carried out in line with the prevailing practice for petrol/ diesel pricing on monthly basis. On the proposal put forth by the Privatisation Commission, the ECC approved the release of two months’ salary (Rs 1 billion) for the employees of the Pakistan Steel Mills. It was also decided that the revised realistic operational plan of PSM, containing the exact funding requirement shall be presented to the ECC of the cabinet after it had been duly considered/ recommended by the PSM board.

The ECC also approved in Principle the signing of Master Agreement and Power Purchase Agreement of CASA-1000 Project subject to approval by CDWP.

ECC also allowed the export of wheat on Government to Government basis to other countries on the same condition as approved by ECC on 23rd of January 2015. On January 23, ECC gave permission to Sindh and Punjab to export 0.40 million tons and 0.8 million tons of wheat with a transport rebate of $45 and $ 55 per M/ton respectively but the transactions were allowed only through private exporters.

ECC had detailed deliberations on the Ramadan Package and formed a committee comprising Rana Assad Amin, Advisor Finance Division, Seerat Asghar, Secretary Nation Food Security, Secretary Commerce and MD Utility Stores Corporation to put forth recommendations regarding the package in the next ECC meeting.

The proposal for the next meeting would incorporate comparative analysis of prices/ quantities of all the items proposed for the year 2014 and 2015. The ECC would reconsider the package in the light of these recommendations.