ECC approves Rs 109.47 million for coastal areas survey

By Staff Reporter
Thursday – October 29, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The economic coordination committee (ECC) approved the technical supplementary grant of Rs. 109.47 million to the defence ministry (DM), Wednesday, for the survey of coastal areas, the amount was surrendered by the maritime affairs ministry (MAM) as the Pakistan army offered to assist in the survey.

According to a press release, adviser to the prime minister on finance and revenue (A-PM-FR) Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting of the ECC, of the cabinet, at the cabinet division in the federal capital.

The MAM also presented another summary for the waiver of demurrage charges on Afghan transit cargo/Afghan bound containers stranded at Karachi ports.

Earlier the government had decided to ask the terminal operators to waive the 75 percent of the demurrage charges on Afghan transit containers/cargo landing at ports from March 22 to September 30, 2020, — the coronavirus (COVID-19) period — including refund of demurrage charges already recovered from such importers of Afghan bound transit container/cargoes.

The maritime affairs (MA) minister advised terminal operators (TOs) to approach their principals for approval of 75 percent of demurrage charges by Oct 5, 2020.

After the TOs showed their inability to accede to MAM’s request, the matter was brought to the ECC for guidance.

ECC directed that the same committee that was engaged with the TOs should again negotiate with the operators to reach an amicable solution to the issue.

In order to facilitate the telecom sector by the waiver of certain taxes, ECC decided that the proposal may be granted approval in principle.

ECC further directed that a subcommittee may be constituted, consisting of A-PM-FR Shaikh, adviser to prime minister on institutional reforms and austerity, industries and production (IP) minister and adviser to prime minister on commerce, to prepare a modified proposal in view of the federal board of revenue’s (FBR) response for the final approval.

ECC also approved the summary moved by the energy ministry (petroleum division) for the allocation of another 38 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) gas from three new wells Rehman 6,7 and 8 to Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL), subject to all regulatory approvals.

The price of gas will be as per the applicable petroleum policy — the gas will be provided as per availability in the winter months.

ECC granted approval for the renewal of the contract with Tavanir Iran for the purchase of 104 megawatt (MW) of electricity subject to vetting by the law and justice ministry (LJM).

The contract, if approved by the LJM will be valid till December 31, 2021.

The meeting was also attended by the railways minister, special assistant to the prime minister (SAPM) on petroleum, adviser to the prime minister on commerce, and adviser to the prime minister on institutional reforms and austerity.