Large scale manufacturing increased by 12 8percent : Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet informed

Islamabad, November 13, 2013 (PPI-OT): The meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet was held under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at Prime Minister’s Officer this morning.

Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar expressed satisfaction over the positive development large scale manufacturing had increased by 12.8 percent during the month of September.This sector has experienced a growth of 8.4% during the first quarter of the financial year 2013-14, mainly because of the proactive approach of the government in liquidating the circular debt resulting in increase generation.

Consequently growth in the large scale industrial sector experienced an increase of 6% in June 2013 which gradually increased to 12.8% in September because of the addition of 1700MW in the national grid.

The meeting was informed that foreign remittances have reached $5.2 billion in the first quarter of the FY 2013-14, 6.3% more than the corresponding period last year and the Foreign Direct Investment has increased by 85% in the first quarter of this financial year. “This speaks volumes about the seriousness of the PML-N government in the economic uplift of the country”, the Finance Minister said.

Senator Ishaq Dar, expressing concern over the inflation and price hike in the country and said “that it was mainly due to the increase in international fuel prices and expressed the hope that there will be lesser adjustments in the future. The government is sensitive to the hardships of the people of this country and was on average providing a subsidy of around Rs.2.2 billion every month just to lessen the burden of the rise in fuel prices on the common man

The ECC also decided to appoint ADB as the transaction advisor (TA) in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline Project. The Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar said that “involving a credible financial institution as the transaction advisor will ensure greater transparency in the deal”.

The ECC also discussed in detail the rise in the prices of onions and tomatoes in the domestic markets. The ECC was told the shortage of both the vegetables is the main cause of the rise in prices which will soon be overcome when fresh stocks of onions and tomatoes reach the markets.

Officials representing the Ministry of Food Security told the ECC that during the past three days a survey was conducted in the local markets and it was observed that the prices are already going down and by the end of this month they will improve further.

However, Senator Ishaq Dar, advised the officials of the Ministry of Food Security to bring a better and much more practical proposal to check the rising prices on long term basis. The ECC also directed the Ministry of Food Security to keep a watch over the prices and deferred the matter till the next meeting.

As regard Energy Efficiency Audit of the captive power plants, the ECC decided to form a committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Water and Power and comprising representatives of Ministries of Industries and Production and Petroleum and Natural Resources, Ministry of Commerce, NEPRA and OGRA. The committee will propose a viable plan for the capacity building for energy efficiency audits and to introduce transparency in the system.

The Finance Minister said that “we shall start the process of conducting energy efficiency assessment from the public sector and will initiate awareness campaigns for the private sectors to use methods that could save energy and help in bringing the country out of its present energy crisis”.

The meeting noted the recommendations made by a Committee constituted by ECC under the Chairmanship of Governor State Bank of Pakistan to study the process of “portfolio investment”.

The meeting also discussed a draft policy for regulation of organizations receiving foreign contributions. It would be pertinent to mention here that ECC in its meeting held on July 2013, constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Science and Technology to review the regulatory framework for NGO’s/INGO’s working in Pakistan.

The ECC was told that a draft policy has been prepared after meeting with all stakeholders and the matter would now be brought up before the ECC after further consultation with the Law Division within the next two weeks.

The ECC approved the transfer of Engro Corporation Ltd’s investment in Engro Foods, Netherland B.V. to Engro Foods (Ltd) Pakistan.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources Mr. Jam Kamal, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Senator Pervez Rashid, Minister for Science and Technology, Mr. Zahid Hamid, Minister Industries Mr. Murtaza Jatoi, Deputy Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Mr. Zubair Umar Chairman Board of Investment and senior officials of the Ministries of Finance, Water and Power, Planning and Development, Commerce, Communications and Industries.

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