ECC approves Rs1.6 billion Ramazan package

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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet approved on Thursday a relief package of Rs1.624 billion for providing subsidy on various food items and other edibles during Ramazan.

A meeting of the ECC presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar decided that the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) would submit details of the package at the next meeting of the committee. But a source told Dawn that the USC had already submitted a summary to the ECC. It has proposed to offer Rs6 per kg subsidy on wheat flour and Rs10 per kg on ghee and pulses. The government may not offer a subsidy on sugar.

More than 4,000 USC outlets across the country will offer subsidised items.

The ECC lifted a ban on the import of gold and gold jewellery, subject to the imports under savings in any one month are restricted to a maximum of 10 kg per exporter.

The penalty for default in export commitment is 5 per cent of leviable duty under SRO 266, which is practically ‘nil’, as customs duty and sales tax on import of gold is zero.

Therefore, import authorisation under the aforementioned savings clause is cancelled if the exporter fails to honour the export commitment within the stipulated timeframe.

All import authorisations issued previously under SRO 266 have been cancelled for those exporters who do not opt for fresh registration or fail to apply for a new jewellery passbook with effect from May 15.

The maximum amount of gold imported under any single transaction should not exceed 10 kg.

The committee withdrew exemption of 5 per cent customs duty on cotton yarn to check its import which is increasing rapidly and the local industry has started feeling the heat of extraordinary liberal tariff regime.

The ECC decided to withdraw its earlier decision of providing the mechanism of joint expert mediation between SNGPL, power purchasers and independent power producers – Saif, Sapphire and Orient.


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