The Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet today at the PM Office.

ECC approved a summary submitted by the Finance Division regarding lifting of withholding tax on small farmers schemes. The summary sought exemption from the purview of section 236U of Income Tax Ordnance, 2001 to the Crop Loan Insurance Scheme and livestock Insurance Scheme which are aimed at providing risk cover to mitigate losses in case of natural disasters.

ECC also approved extension in the export of wheat date from 30th November 2016 to 31 December 2016. It was also approved that same rate of rebate would be given on export of wheat products like Suji, Maida and wheat flour fine (Aata) as available on per Kg wheat export. Meaning thereby that one Kg of Suji, Maida and wheat flour Fine (Aata) will be exported against one Kg of wheat issued so there will be no extra claim of rebate. As more than 3 million tons exportable surplus wheat is available, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research proposed to allow export of the equal quantity of Suji, Maida and wheat flour Fine (Aata)/ equivalent to the quota of wheat issued.

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research proposed maintaining the Minimum Guaranteed Price (MGP) of Wheat at Rs.1300 per 40 Kg for wheat crop 2016-17. ECC accorded approval to the proposal for maintaining the MGP of Rs.1300/- per 40 Kg for wheat crop 2016-17.

ECC also approved relending the China Eximbank Loans to Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) for Chashma Nuclear Power Project 3 and 4 on similar terms/lines available to the loans relent to provincial governments / departments. The Chinese loans will be relent to PAEC at actual terms and conditions available to the Government of Pakistan and also the exchange rate risk will be borne by PAEC.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources apprised the ECC regarding increase in natural gas production of more than 83 to 84 MMCFD from Nashpa field. It also stated that the M/s SNGPL is also keen to receive the additional gas due to demand-supply imbalance of natural gas on its system. The ECC approved the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources proposal for allocation of the additional gas up to 84 MMCFD produced from Nashpa field to SNGPL to cope with demand-supply imbalance on its system.

ECC also accorded approval in principle for re-enactment of OGRA [Amendment] Ordinance, 2009 [XVI of 2009] with retrospective effect containing validation and sun-set clauses from the date of promulgation of the Ordinance with a condition not to change the present system of Sales Tax collection.

ECC approved the Memorandum of Agreement signed on 20th May 2016 between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and the Balochistan government for extension of Sui gas mining lease agreement for next ten years.

Source: Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage.