ECC approves electric vehicle, mobile device manufacturing policies

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved the ‘Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy’ as well as the ‘Electric Vehicles Policy’ [for two-three wheelers and heavy commercial vehicles].

The ECC meeting was chaired by Finance and Revenue Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, according to press statement issued by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday.

“After due deliberation, the forum approved removal of withholding tax of 4pc on manufacturing to retailers of locally manufactured phones to incentivise the sector,” the statement read. “Moreover, removal of sales tax on locally manufactured phones was also approved in principle and modalities in this regard would be worked out in consultation with the Finance Division.”

Among other agenda items, the ECC approved a Rs219.300 million technical supplementary grant (TSG) for the operationalization of the newly established Isolation Hospital and Infections Treatment Centre, Islamabad; Rs305.462 million TSG to payoff Pakistan’s annual contribution to World Health Organization (WHO); Rs106.775 million to the ICT Administration for various projects; Rs706.82 million for FATA, temporary displaced persons, Emergency Recovery Project, NADRA; Rs278 million as annual contribution of Pakistan to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Partners in Population and Development (PPD) and Family Planning Association of Pakistan (IPPF-FPAP) for FY19, FY20 & FY21; and Rs53.10 million for procurement of medical equipment, machinery and medicines to combat Covid-19.

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Meanwhile, the maritime affairs minister updated the forum about the latest position of wheat vessels and operations of Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Port Qasim Authority (PQA). The chair directed that the ECC’s logistic committee would be chaired by the maritime affairs minister to workout SOPs while ensuring all stakeholders, including private sector, are onboard with reference to priority berthing.

The ECC also accorded approval for the issuance of offshore Pakistani Rupee-linked bonds to the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Later, the Ministry of National Food Security presented a summary for the provision of additional quantities of wheat to the Government of Azad Jammu Kashmir and Utility Stores Corporation.

The finance minister directed the officials concerned to provide first load of additional quantities to both AJ&K and USC as an interim arrangement to ensure smooth supply of wheat across the country.

The meeting was attended by Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Industries & Production Minister Hammad Azhar, Economic Affairs Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms & Austerity Ishrat Hussain, SAPM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Haider Zaidi, SAPM on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Dr Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Energy Tabish Gauhar, Privatization Minister Muhammadmian Soomro and Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan. State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir joined the meeting via video link.

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