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Dar forms body to prepare automobile policy; Bajwa attends ECC meeting

Dar forms body to prepare automobile policy; Bajwa attends ECC meeting

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has formed a committee to prepare an automobile policy within 45 days.

The committee, headed by Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Mohammad Asif, comprises Zubair Umar as Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Engineering Development Board, FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa and Secretary Industries & Production as its members.

The committee has been directed to seek the views of representative of auto manufacturers and car vendors. The ECC has also advised the committee to widely circulate the draft policy and solicit proposals for all stakeholders.

This decision was taken at a meeting of the ECC chaired by Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at Prime Minister’s Office. The meeting was attended by Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Senator Pervez Rashid, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Mohammad Asif, Minister for National Food Security Sikandar Bosan, Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid, Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman, Chairman FBR, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Board of Investment Chairman Zubair Umar and senior officials of the Ministries of Finance, Water and Power, Planning and Development, Commerce, Communications and Industries.

The ECC approved a proposal of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research for release of second tranche of 75,000 metric tons of wheat through World Food Programme (WFP) to ensure continued food support to 175,500 displaced families of FATA/KPK. PASCO would be directed to release wheat to WFP.

The ECC directed National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML), Utility Stores Corporation and Finance Division to reconcile their payments with TCP within two weeks so that the dues could be cleared. In this connection, representatives of the NFML informed the meeting that they had paid an amount of Rs1.3 billion to TCP. The ECC also directed Ministry of Industries to reconcile outstanding amount of Utility Stores Corporation and TCP within eight weeks.

The ECC directed the Secretary Finance to ensure that funds on account of subsidy are released to TCP so that import of urea and other activities of TCP remained unaffected. It also expressed satisfaction that the quarterly release of urea subsidy of Rs7.5 billion was being made to TCP as per schedule.

The ECC approved import of 500,000 tons of urea fertilizer for Rabi Season from the open international market by TCP in two shipments of 300,000 tons in November and 200,000 tons in December 2013.

The ECC also directed the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to ensure supply of gas during Rabi Season to all the domestic fertilizer units as per their quota allocations so that the production targets were achieved.

The ECC approved a proposal moved by the Ministry of Commerce and Textile Industry to withdraw its earlier decision dated July 3, 2012 for restructuring of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) an organisation engaged in cotton research and development.

The ECC also decided to reconstitute PCCC which would now have 18 members including a member each from the four provinces and the Chairman APTMA and a nominee of APTMA as its members. Other members of the committee include Federal Minister for Textile Industry, Secretaries Ministry of Textile Industry, Finance, Planning and Development, National Food Security, Chairman Pakistan Agriculture Research Council Islamabad, Vice President PCCC, Chairman Karachi Cotton Association, Chairman Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association, Secretary Agriculture Government of Sindh, Secretary Agriculture Government of Punjab.

The ECC also approved that the position of the Vice President of PCCC may be advertised and an experienced and senior research scientist be hired against the post.

The ECC was told that Pakistan’s year-on-year inflation rate (CPI Index) registered an increase of 7.4 per cent in September 2013. This defied predictions that the inflation rate would be higher as in the previous two months it had registered an increase of 8.5 per cent in August 2013 an 8.3 per cent in July 2013. It also expressed satisfaction at the present wheat stock which on September 25, 2013 was 6.7 million tons.

The ECC was informed that there is 27 days stock of oil reserves in the country, large scale manufacturing had showed an increase of 3.7 per cent while FBR collected Rs.481 billion showing a cumulative growth of 17 per cent in the first quarter.

The ECC noted with satisfaction that all benchmarks agreed with the IMF have been achieved in the first quarter.