ECC gives green signal to procure 120,000 tonnes of wheat
ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has given the green signal to procure 120,000 tonnes of wheat to build strategic reserves of the commodity.
The committee meeting, presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, took the decision after taking into consideration the recommendation of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research.
The wheat procurement is in compliance with the directives of the Cabinet to procure 4 million tonnes of wheat to build strategic reserves during the current financial year.
The ECC urged the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) chairman to expedite the efforts for importing wheat so that local prices could be stabilised and to ensure smooth supply of wheat across the country.
The committee also directed the TCP chairman to present a detailed report to Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood regarding the timeline of wheat import and other requisite details at the earliest.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs presented a summary regarding revision in the tariff enabling Fauji Oil Terminal and Distribution Company (Fotco) to meet operating and maintenance expenses, which were approved in 2000, for the period of another 20 years, but not revised.
After detailed deliberation, the committee approved the revision in the tariff for Fotco, locked for five years, to be paid in equivalent amounts in rupees.
The ECC constituted a sub-committee, comprising representatives from the Ministry of Petroleum, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), Pakistan State Oil (PSO), A F Ferguson, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Finance Division to be headed by deputy chairman planning to decide about the tariff differential accumulated between 2012 and 2020.
The Ministry of Maritime Affairs tabled another summary regarding relaxation to 19 subsidiary companies of Pakistan National Shipping (PNSC) under the Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) rules.
The ECC approved relaxation in the rules till June 2021 with a direction to explore the option of formulating independent boards for the subsidiaries to be headed by the CEO as per the principles of corporate governance.
The ECC considered and approved the summary presented by the Ministry of National Health Services regarding exemption from taxes and duties on the import of auto disable syringes and raw materials/products for local manufacturing of auto disable syringes, enabling transformation from conventional to auto disable syringes.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman presented a summary to strengthen the Inland Revenue Enforcement Network (IREN) to combat tax evasion and leakages of duties payable on specified goods through enforcement of Track and Trace System.
The IREN will also check the goods supplied out of erstwhile Fata/Pata areas for ascertaining validity and conformity. The ECC after consideration approved the summary.
In his remarks, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin as the ECC chairman said that the FBR will create goodwill and avoid harassment in the enforcement of rules and regulations for the collection of taxes and duties.
At the same time, the revenue board will take firm action to prevent tax evasion and broaden the tax base to contribute to the national exchequer. A proper system of check and balance will be followed.
The minister urged the FBR to use the latest technology-based solutions for tax collection to reduce reliance on traditional enforcement methodology.
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Federal Minister for Privatisation Muhammad Miansoomro, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Zaidi, Federal Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, Minister of State on Information Farrukh Habib, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Power and Petroleum Tabish Gauhar, State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir, federal secretaries, FBR chairman and other senior officials participated in the meeting.
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