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ECC constitutes sub-committee to consider ban on exports of tomatoes and onions

October 8, 2021 (MLN): The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Thursday, constituted a sub-committee headed by the Finance Minister to take a decision regarding the ban on exports of tomatoes and onions.

As per the details, the Ministry of Commerce tabled a summary regarding the export of tomatoes and onions, ECC after detailed discussion, constituted a sub-committee headed by the Finance Minister to consider monthly projections regarding the export of perishable commodities on basis of estimated production, consumption and surplus to be presented by the M/o Commerce. It was decided that decision to export the above-mentioned vegetables will be taken by the sub-committee.

Recently, the finance minister had directed the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of National Food Security and Research to impose a ban on the exports of tomatoes and onions for three months after consultation after which, growers and exporters had refused to accept any move on part of the federal government to put a ban on the exports tomatoes and onions, considering an expected bumper crop.

Besides, Finance Ministry tabled the summary regarding incentives /rewards to overseas Pakistani’s remitters under National Remittance Loyalty Program (NRLP) which has been branded as Sohni Dharti Remittance Program. The remitters will be awarded points against remittances sent by them to Pakistan through legal channels. After due deliberations, the ECC recommended that the option of cash redemption may only be offered to those overseas Pakistani remitters who return to Pakistan permanently. However, Overseas Pakistanis shall be qualified to avail services (such as PIA tickets, Mobile phone duty payment,s, etc) against redemption of the accumulated points awarded under NRLP.

Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) presented a summary to update the forum about the cotton seed prices during the months of August and September 2021. The domestic prices remained above the threshold set, barring for a couple of days due to rains. The ECC expressed satisfaction that farmers are getting their due prices.

Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) tabled a summary regarding the allocation/release of 280,000 MT of wheat to the Utility Stores Cooperation (USC) till December 2021. A quantity of 90,000 MT has already been provided as an interim arrangement whereas the remaining 190,000 MT will be provided from PASSCO’s stocks (local or imported as per stock availability with PASSCO). The ECC approved the allocation/release of the remaining 190,000 MT to USC to ensure a smooth supply of wheat through a chain of USCs across the country.

On a summary moved by the Ministry for National Food Security and Research, the ECC recommended the allocation of a total quantity of 300,000 MT of wheat to the AJ&K Government out of PASSCO stock during the current financial year. This includes 140,000 MT of wheat which has already been released to AJ&K by the Ministry of NFS&R as an interim arrangement. The ECC directed the referring division to provide wheat to AJ&K with the best possible combination of indigenous and imported wheat.

The ECC considered and approved the summary tabled by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and HRD regarding the Annual Budget for the FY2021-22 & the revised Budget for the FY 2019-20 of the Employees Old-age Benefits Institution (EOBI).

Lastly, the ECC considered and approved a Technical Supplementary Grant (TSG) amounting to Rs. 6.4 billion in favor of Cabinet Division for Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) during the current FY-2021-22.

The meeting was presided by Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Mr Shaukat Tarin. Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib, Advisor to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Governor SBP Dr. Reza Baqir, Secretary Power Division, Secretary M/o NFS&R, Secretary Commerce, Chairman FBR, Chairman SECP, MD USC, and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

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