ECC approves

ECC approves Rs 3.850bn for PSM employees’ salaries

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet Wednesday approved an amount of Rs 3,850 million for provision of salaries to the employees of Pakistan State Mills (PSM) for the financial year 2020-21, which will be disbursed every month.

However, though the ECC agreed in principle that the dues to the retired non-litigant employees should be paid, the forum decided to seek a detailed report from the Ministry of Industries and Production on the PSM’s liabilities, including retirement dues, which would accrue as a result of the retrenchment plan, expenditures on account of utilities or any other charges.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the ECC meeting, according to a Finance Ministry press release.

The Ministry of Industries and Production had presented the two separate summaries to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for the disbursement of salaries to the PSM employees and for clearing the liabilities of those employees, who have not approached the court (Sindh High Court).

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) was briefed that earlier this month, the retired employees of the PSM were paid Rs12.741 billion as retirement dues but the court had asked to pay the non-litigant retired employees as well that would further add Rs.11.68 billion to the expenditure of the Federal Government.  

The ECC also considered and approved two technical supplementary grants (TSGs) for the Ministry of Interior amounting to Rs111 million for clearing various liabilities of the ICT (Islamabad Capital Territory) administration.

Two other TSGs were approved for the Islamabad High Court amounting to Rs102 million and the National Heritage & Culture Division of Rs 8.5 million for various expenditures.

The ECC also granted waiver of guarantee fee on foreign loans of K2/K3 projects, the press release said. According to a report prepared by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and the Economic Affairs Division (ADB), there would be a benefit of Rs.0.07/KWh to the general public by the waiver of this fee.

For the centralized procurement of the vaccines under the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), the ECC approved shifting of Federal EPI from development to revenue expenditure with an allocation of Rs 9, 903.195 million through TSG for vaccine procurement in CFY to avoid interruption in the immunization programme.

Now the vaccine would be procured by the Federal EPI on behalf of the provincial governments and later reimbursement would be made by Punjab and Sindh governments, and deduction at source from the shares of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan for their respective vaccine shares would be made.

In order to increase the share of man-made fibers (MMF) in the textile goods for better unit prices in the international markets, product diversification and most importantly, value addition, the Additional Customs Duty (ACDs) and Regulatory Duty (RDs) on selected HS codes of textile sector was allowed to be removed. The total revenue impact of these exemptions would be Rs 533 million.

The ECC also allowed notifying the Kharlachi Border Crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan as a rebatable border point for export of goods to Afghanistan. Earlier the opening of this border point helped in the release of congested transit trucks at the Afghan border due to COVID-19 restrictions.

It allowed the exemption from re-lending of the funds for the Pakistan National Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19 to cover the country’s requirements for 12 months through emergency operations.

In order to administer the programme, the Asian Development Bank would provide a loan of US$ 100 million and an additional US$ 5 million would provided by the Government of Norway as a grant administered by the ADB.

The Asian Development Bank has already signed a loan agreement with the Ministry of Economic Affairs to finance the said project.

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