ECC approves Rs 50bn grant for USC, allows 6 other supplementary grants

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The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet Wednesday approved six technical supplementary grants in addition to approving Rs 50 billion technical supplementary grant for the Utility Stores Corporation (USC).

The ECC meeting which was chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh gave approval to Rs 842 million for paying off the executing agencies of the Prime Minister’s youth loan scheme during the current financial year.

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It also approved Rs 90.459 million for Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority, to help PNRA meet its obligations, Rs. 5.00 million in respect of Punjab Rangers to enable Ministry of Defence to purchase spare parts for the maintenance of helicopter during the current financial year and Rs 2.074 million, received as grant from the US Embassy in favour of HQ Frontier Constabulary Peshawar for the construction of Frontier Constabulary Training Centre at Michni Shabqadar.

The committee also approved US $ 1.5 million for the Ministry of energy to pay the legal counsels hired on behalf of the State in the international litigation case against Ms. Karkey besides approving Rs 300 million in favour of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to execute the communication campaign for the Ehsaas Program in the next three months.

The ECC, on the summary moved by the Economic Affairs Division for the recovery of foreign currency loans from the Private Sector borrowers, i.e Ms Gladari Cement Limited, decided that Economic Affairs Division (EAD) should resubmit the proposal after consultation with State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

On the proposal by the Ministry of Energy for allowing foreign exchange gains/losses in excess of 7% on delayed payment for Kohala Hydro power project, the ECC directed SBP to negotiate with all relevant stakeholders and come up with a viable and practical solution of the issue.

The ECC approved Rs 50 billion (as technical supplementary grant) for the USC announced under PM relief package.

The USC was further directed by the Chairman ECC to ensure provision of essential items at reduced prices to the people in the wake of current situation prevalent in the country due to COVID-19 as well as during the approaching month of Ramazan.

As many as Rs. 21 billion have already been disbursed to the USC after December 2019 for the procurement of essential items and the MD, USC assured the ECC that the corporation was effectively utilizing its market presence for providing affordable goods to people in this hour of need.

Meanwhile, the meeting of Federal Cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee approved Rs 2.5 billion Ramazan Relief Package. The ECC also approved tax-free transactions of government’s flagship welfare project Ehsaas Program till June 30. The PTI government through its Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme will distribute Rs150 billion among 12 million deserving families affected by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. For the payment of legal fees in court cases, the ECC approved $1.5 million supplementary grants. The meeting also approved the Rs84 million subsidy charges for Prime Minister Youth Loan Scheme. The ECC also proved Rs90 million supplementary grants for Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority. However, the ECC deferred the Rs185 billion Ramazan relief package to electricity consumers. The summary was moved by the Power Division.