ECC approves Rs410m for capital’s security ahead of Imran khan long march
Published6 months ago
With the political temperature heating up in and around the federal capital, the government has decided to release an emergency tranche to fortify the defences of the capital city ahead of an expected assault from political opponents.
The government has also decided to drop, for the time being, a requirement for inspection of imported wheat when it arrives in Pakistan, apart from deciding against using the Gwadar port.
This was decided on Monday during a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet that was chaired by Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Federal ministers for National Food Security and Research Chaudhary Tariq Bashir Cheema, Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, Industries and Production Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mehmood, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha, federal secretaries and senior officers attended the meeting.
During the meeting, a supplementary grant worth Rs410.181 million was tabled in favor of the federal interior ministry for “expenses relating to law and order”. The supplementary grant comes up for approval at a time when the federal capital has been turned into a container city with thousands of additional cops and security officials summoned to keep armed protesters out.
On the import of wheat, the National Food Security and Research Ministry presented a summary to consider proposals for using the Gwadar port to berth the wheat-laden ships and revising the procedure for the pre-shipment inspection agency.
On inquiring why the price in the limited bids received on September 26, 2022, was higher than in past tenders, the committee was told that it was due to increased risks due to a change in the inspection regime and port.
In view of the higher cost of wheat import, ECC approved the proposals to drop, for the time being, the Trade Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) tender inspection conditions at the unloading port. However, the forum was of the view that all pre-shipment inspection protocols should be ensured at the loading port using the top four inspection firms of the TCP/Ministry of Commerce.
The TCP was further directed to issue fresh tenders to ensure the import of the allocated quantity of wheat.
In another summary from the commerce ministry on keeping the export-oriented sectors internationally competitive, the ECC approved a move to continue with regionally competitive electricity tariffs for export-oriented sectors during the current financial year 2022-23.
It was decided that per Dar’s earlier announcement in a meeting with industry leaders, electricity will be provided at Rs19.99 per kilowatt hour (kWh), all-inclusive, to the five export-oriented sectors, namely textile, jute, leather, surgical and sports goods across Pakistan from October 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023.
The ECC deferred a summary from the food security ministry on the profitable support price of the upcoming wheat crop.
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