ISLAMABAD: The Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday allowed the private and public sectors to import 800,000 tonnes of sugar to reduce their prices and increase carryover stock.
The ECC also allowed the import of 300,000 tonnes of wheat to build strategic reserves before the arrival of the next crop in the coming April / May period.
The private sector is allowed to import 3,000,000 tonnes of sugar. The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) will import 500,000 metric tonnes of sugar at a lower holding tax rate, while the 17% sales tax has also been abolished. The government wants to buy sugar in the public sphere as it seeks to have more sweet owners at cheaper rates available in its stock before next Ramadan.
During the ECC meeting, one participant said that the availability of sugar will become clear in March / April 2021, so the government may have to make revised estimates to allow sugar imports through the private sector. Concessions provided to the private sector can be withdrawn if sufficient reserves become available. It all depends on the availability of stock available at the end of the crushing season. The private sector has been allowed to import 300,000 tonnes of sugar by June 30, 2021.
The Ministry of Food Security and Research submitted a summary authorizing the TCP to make immediate arrangements for the import of 300,000 tonnes of wheat, which was approved by the Cabinet and approved by the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASCO). ) As the receiving agency. Imported wheat to replenish its stock as needed.
The ECC approved and approved another summary from the Ministry of Food for allocating 60,000 tonnes of wheat from the existing stock of Pasco at subsidized rate to the Food Department of Balochistan for 60,000 tonnes of wheat as per previous practice.
The ECC has again postponed the draft textile and apparel policy 2020-25 as the concerned stakeholders could not reach a consensus.
According to an official statement, Finance and Revenue Minister Hafeez Sheikh chaired the ECC meeting.
The Ministry of Industry and Production has submitted a summary to the ECC on sugar imports to ease additional pressure on sugar prices and increase carryover stock before the arrival of fresh produce. The ECC has approved a reduction in holding income tax on commercial imports of white sugar and raw sugar, which will encourage sugar mills to import 300,000 tonnes of raw sugar by June 30, 2021.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony presented a summary of the scaling of the ‘Road to Mecca Pilot Project’ from Islamabad Airport to Karachi and Lahore to facilitate Hijaz to perform Hajj under the government scheme. One condition was that special discounts be granted on the import of technical equipment through Saudi Arabia. The ECC said the FBR would consult the Ministry of Religious Affairs separately on the details and the matter would be referred to the next ECC for approval.
The ECC also approved a draft policy on overseas equity investment by residents / firms, which meets the needs of the business community and aims to improve the ease of doing business, promote exports. , To facilitate residential companies to raise capital from abroad. It will also meet the legitimate investment needs of individuals.
It was decided that at the request of the Ministry of Industry and Production, after November 2020, the rate of 772 / million metric metric British thermal units will be applied to Agric and Fatima fertilizers.
The ECC has approved exemption in sales tax and 3% additional sales tax on the import of 52 firefighting vehicles through Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Limited.
The Ministry of Communications updated the ECC on the progress made in converting National Highway Authority (NHA) loans into government loans, according to the last ECC held last December. The NHA, in consultation with other ministries, requested a period of nine months to develop a commercially viable business plan. The NHA debt restructuring will be linked to the outcome of the business plan. It was decided that the remaining markup would be capitalized by June 30, 2020. Further collection of markup will be suspended until the business plan is finalized.