ECC to decide on issues of surplus wheat, PPAF, PSM dues

Asad Umar will chair the meeting on Nov 20 that will involve key members from the finance, national food security and research, and industries and production ministries.

LAHORE: A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet will be held on Tuesday, 20 November 2018, stated a notification issued by the Cabinet Secretariat on Sunday.

The Minister for Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs Asad Umar will chair the meeting that will involve key members from the finance, national food security and research, and industries and production ministries.

The finance division will decide on the exemption from relending policy of the government for funds to be provided as a grant to the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF).

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday had said that the government did not want to limit poverty alleviation to the financial assistance alone, but wanted a durable solution of this issue by reforming various sectors and creating job opportunities in the country.

He called for utilising the local government system at the lower tier so as to reach the needy and avoid the wastage of spending.

The prime minister had chaired a meeting about poverty alleviation and related reforms on Wednesday during which he was given a detailed briefing on poverty alleviation, related measures and reforms besides deliberations on a comprehensive and coordinated strategy.

The National Food Security and Research division is expected to decide on the export of public sector’s surplus wheat and wheat related products. It will also submit its report on sugar cane price and the cost of production of sugar.

Earlier, the ministry of national food security and research moved a proposal to the ECC of the Cabinet to seek approval for export of 3.1 million tonnes of surplus wheat by providing a $105 per tonne subsidy. This was disclosed by the ministry’s secretary Dr Muhammad Hashim Popalzai while briefing to Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research. The secretary further said that surplus wheat stock of over 10 million tonnes is available with the public sector and all stakeholders have consented to export 3.1 million tonnes including 2 million tonnes by Punjab, 0.6 million tonnes by PASSCO and 0.5 million tonnes by Sindh.

The Industries and Production division is expected to discuss the grant for disbursement of provident fund, gratuity, and payroll dues to the heirs of deceased employees of Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation (PSMC).

The ECC in its last meeting had approved the proposal of the Privatization Division for disbursement of Rs367 million as one month’s (September) salary to the employees of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). The ECC had also directed the ministry of industries to take immediate action for disbursement of outstanding dues to widows of Pakistan Steel Mills’ deceased employees, which have been pending for the last almost four years. It had further directed the ministry of industries and production to submit a detailed proposal to bring Pakistan Steel Mills back to normal operation since the mills were excluded from the privatisation list.

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