Govt approves Rs2bn worth Ramazan relief package

  • ECC okays supplementary grant of Rs1b for FBR in order to boost its revenue collection capacity

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, while deliberating upon a summary proposed by the Ministry of Industries and Production on Tuesday, approved Rs2 billion worth Ramazan relief package for the year 2019.

According to sources, the Ministry of Industries and Production recommended the ECC to add 19 essential commodities, including ghee, sugar, flour, oil, pulses (channa, moong, mash, masoor), white gram, baisen, dates, rice (basmati, sella, broken), squashes & syrups (1,500ml and 800ml bottles), black tea, spices and milk, in the relief package for Ramazan.

“The main objective of the subsidy is to ensure the availability of essential commodities at reasonable prices for low-income families,” sources said, adding that the ministry also proposed the ECC to bring the Ramazan relief package to effect from May 1, 2019, as the holy month would commence from the second week of May.

Sources said that the cabinet in its sitting this Thursday would most likely endorse the ECC’s decision with regard to the Ramazan package.

They said that the Utility Stores Corporation has already started working on the plan to procure the essential commodities in order to meet the deadline of May 1, adding that the ministry is devising a special monitoring plan to ensure smooth supply of the subsidized items at all utility stores across the country.

As per details, the subsidy on daal (channa) would be Rs20, daal mash (washed) Rs10, ghee Rs15, flour Rs4, sugar Rs5, white gram Rs25, broken rice Rs15, milk Rs15, dates Rs30 and baisen Rs20.

Meanwhile, the ECC, chaired by Finance Minister Asad Umar, approved a supplementary grant of Rs1 billion for the Federal Board of Revenue to boost its revenue collection capacity. The tax department is facing a revenue shortfall of Rs230 billion in the first eight years of the current fiscal year.

The committee also approved a supplementary grant, amounting Rs16.976 million, for the Textile Division.

It further approved a supplementary grant of Rs7.4 billion for the Finance Division in favour of Financial Inclusion & Infrastructure Projects (FIIP). The committee also okayed a technical supplementary grant of Rs5,620 million and a supplementary grant of Rs742.5 million for SAP Software License Payment.

On another agenda, the committee approved a grant to pay the outstanding dues to the legal heirs of deceased employees of Pakistan Steel Mills on account of provident fund, gratuity and payroll.

The Water Resources Secretary and WAPDA chairman on the occasion gave separate presentations on different water projects including major dams namely Mohmand Dam, Diamir-Bhasha and Dhasu Dam.

The commerce secretary also made a presentation on export prospects in the short term. The committee directed him to prepare an export enhancement plan for next year before 31st March 2019.


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