ECC approves Rs4.1bn grant to boost FBR’s capacity

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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Wednesday approved a technical supplementary grant of Rs4,152 million for the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) Pakistan Raises Revenue (PRP) Programme.

According to a statement issued by the finance ministry, “The grant will help meet the PRP’s mandatory and inevitable expenditures for the achievement of Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs), and supplement its budgetary resources for expenditures in this regard.”

The ECC, which met under the chairmanship of Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, also directed the FBR chairperson to give a detailed briefing on the initiative in the next meeting.

Meanwhile, the committee approved a technical supplementary grant of Rs44.447 million for Islamabad Capital Territory to execute the “National Programme for Improvement of Watercourses (phase-II) in ICT; Productivity Enhancement of Wheat, Prime Minister’s ‘Save the Calf’ Initiative, Calf Feedlot Fattening in Pakistan and Development of backyard poultry in ICT”.

The Ministry of National Food security and research had surrendered the amount in favour of the ICT Administration.

On a request made by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs for the recovery of outstanding wharfage of Rs1.696 billion on the import of LNG by Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the ECC directed for paying the outstanding amount in 10 equal instalments, without interest, over a period of ten years.

However, it added, in Jan 2023, a committee will review the circumstances and suggest any possibility for early repayment of the remaining sum.

The decision was taken on the recommendations of a committee constituted under the chairmanship of the Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar.

The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development on the occasion presented before the ECC a report of the Task Force on Overseas Employment and Welfare of Overseas Pakistanis.

The ECC, in its decision taken on 19th February 2019, had constituted an inter-ministerial task force under the chairmanship of Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Zulfi Bukhari to look into the issues of overseas employment for Pakistani manpower and make recommendations in consultation with relevant stakeholders.

The SAPM gave a presentation on various important issues and measures taken regarding the identification of trades and skillsets in demand in order to meet the requirements of the international job market.

He informed the committee about the development of a centralized TVET certification and verification system and improving regulatory mechanism to curb sub-standard certifications and helping provincial TEVTAs in developing their skill development capacities.

He also informed about the developing mechanism for sharing data among National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) and Bureau of Emigration & Overseas Employment (BE&OE) on employment opportunities and available skills; efficient provision of e-passport, NICOP, POC to overseas Pakistanis; issues of overseas Pakistani schools and developing a National Emigration and Welfare Policy for overseas Pakistanis.

The chair appreciated different measures taken by the committee and further directed it to come to the ECC forum a month after the budget, and brief about the overall progress made on the measures taken by the committee for the welfare of overseas Pakistanis.

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