ECC decides to import 0.5m tons urea


ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday decided to import 500,000 tons of urea fertilizer for Rabi season from the open international market by Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) in two shipments of 300,000 tons in November 2013 and 200,000 tons in December 2013.

The ECC, which met under the chair of Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, 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 top economic decisions making body of the country also 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 families of FATA/KPK who were displaced. Passco would be directed to release wheat to WFP. The ECC noted with satisfaction that all benchmarks agreed with the IMF have been achieved in the first quarter (July-September) of the ongoing fiscal year 2013-14.

Sources informed The Nation that committee members did not discuss the impact of recent hike in oil and power prices on common people. 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 percent while FBR collected Rs.481 billion showing a cumulative growth of 17 percent in the first quarter. The ECC was told that Pakistan’s year-on-year inflation rate (CPI Index) registered an increase of 7.4 percent 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 percent in August 2013 an 8.3 percent in July 2013.  It also expressed satisfaction at the present wheat stock which on September 25, 2013 was 6.7 million tons.

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 NFML informed the meeting that they had paid an amount of Rs.1.3 billion to TCP this morning. 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 Rs.7.5 billion was being made to TCP as per schedule.

The ECC approved a proposal moved by the Ministry of Commerce and Textile Industry to withdraw its earlier decision dated 3rd July, 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 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,

0Minister for Science and Technology, Zahid Hamid, Ms Anusha Rehman, Minister of State for Information Technology, Chairman FBR, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Zubair Umar Chairman Board of Investment and senior officials of the Ministries of Finance, Water and Power, Planning and Development,  Commerce, Communications and Industries. Courtesy: The Nation

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