ECC approves Rs100m grant for locust control in Punjab

Committee okays Rs500m for media campaign on Covid-19; Rs4.5bn for capacity building of civil armed forces

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Wednesday approved a Rs100 million grant for locust control in Punjab. 

According to details, the ECC meeting, which was held with Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the chair, approved the above on a request made by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) regarding Rs100 million technical supplementary grant (TSG) to procure equipment for locust control in Punjab. 

Meanwhile, the ECC also approved Rs3.2 billion TSG for Pakistan International Airline Corporation Limited (PIACL) to discharge the obligations on account of markup against the Government of Pakistan’s guaranteed loans. 

In addition, the committee approved Rs25.2 million for Pakistan Academy for Rural Development (PARD) in Peshawar (FY20), Rs1.3 billion for Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission to manage its various liabilities, Rs235 million for Deputy Commissioner Islamabad to pay internal security duty allowance to troops of Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) deployed in Islamabad, Rs500 million for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to meet the expenditure of media campaign on Covid-19, Rs7.947 billion to NDMA on account of procurement of emergency equipment through Pakistan Foreign Mission in China (Ex-post facto approval on account of Pakistan National Emergency Preparedness and Response for Covid-19, procurement of equipment and transfer of funds), and Rs4.5 billion for the capacity building of civil armed forces as requested by the Ministry of Interior. 

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Likewise, Rs80 million were approved for the Competition Commission of Pakistan to meet its expenses, Rs100 million for the purchase of kerosene oil by Frontier Corps KP (North) to be used in different locations/posts (8,000 feet and above), Rs8.093 million for the Privatization Division to manage employee-related expenditure, and two TSGs amounting to Rs1.19 billion and Rs358.506 million for the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training to award scholarships to Afghan students.

Moreover, the ECC also granted approval to book value adjustment of the overdue amount of loans amounting to Rs30.807 billion to Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) over and above its allocated development and non-development budget. It also allowed, on the recommendation of the committee earlier constituted by ECC, to convert two relent Chinese loans into government loans keeping in view the subsuming of ERRA into NDMA and ERRA being non-profit/non-revenue generating entity.

The handing over of the Pakistan Machine Tool Factory to the Strategic Planning Division was also given a go-ahead in the meeting. In order to operationalize PMTF, Rs500 million shall be provided to SPD as a loan. The federal government shall pay all liabilities accrued until the transfer of management control of PMTF to SPD, after the partial settlement of Rs1.78 billion worth liabilities.

Lastly, the ECC okayed the ‘Risk Sharing Facility for SBP Refinance Scheme’ to support employment and prevent the layoff of workers. The scheme supports the provision of credit at concessional rate to businesses that commit not to layoff workers till September 2020 (earlier the cutoff date was 30th June 2020).

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