ECC approves Rs.7.4 bln ‘Ramzan Relief Package’; tariff rationalization

Caretaker Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar presided over a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet at Islamabad on February 13, 2024.
ISLAMABAD, Feb 13 (Alliance News):The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet here on Tuesday approved Rs.7,492.75 million proposed Ramazan Relief Package-2024 to provide relief to the general public during the upcoming holy month of Ramazan.
The package is aimed at providing subsidy to the targeted beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) with net amount of Rs. 7,492.75 million, which is provided for in the budget for 2023-24, according to a press statement issued by the finance ministry.

The ECC meeting was presided over by Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar.
The ECC meeting was attended by the Minister for Privatization and Inter-Provincial Coordination, Fawad Hasan Fawad; Minister for Interior, Commerce & Industries, Gohar Ejaz;  Minister for Energy and Petroleum Division, Mohammad Ali; Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Sami Saeed;  Minister of Maritime Affairs, Communication and Railways. Shahid Ashraf Tarar; Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Dr. Muhammad Jehanzaeb Khan; Advisor to PM on Finance, Dr. Waqar Masood, federal secretaries, and other senior government officers of the relevant ministries.

The committee approved a summary of the Ministry of Commerce (Tariff Policy Wing), regarding “Individual Tariff Rationalization Proposals from Different Sectors for Review of Custom Duties” and advised that tariff rationalization should be coordinated with the trade policy
ECC also approved a proposal regarding “Permission to Import Wheat and Export of Wheat Flour under Export Facilitation Scheme 2021” presented to the forum by the Ministry of Commerce and directed the relevant Ministries to prepare comprehensive proposals for enhancing the opportunities for valued added exports.
The ECC also approved a summary of the Power Division regarding the “Commissioning of 1263 MW CCPP Punjab Thermal Power (Pvt) Limited, Jhang (PPTL)”.

Another proposal of the Ministry of Commerce regarding “Sharing of Subsidy on Imported Urea at 50:50 Basis Technical Supplementary Grant for Ministry of Commerce” was considered by the Committee. ECC approved the proposed release of Rs. 6 billion to the Ministry of Commerce.
The funds are meant for clearing the arrears of subsidy for the previous financial year. It was clarified that no subsidy on this account has been allowed by the government during the current year.
The ECC also directed that the provincial governments be approached to clear their respective arrears of subsidy on urea.
The Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives (PD&SI) briefed the ECC on the inflation situation in the country. The forum directed the Ministry of PD&SI to make sure that detailed analysis is carried out on the data collected by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, and the same is also presented to the Committee for taking appropriate measures in a timely manner.