ECC allows one-time special release of ‘luxury’ goods stuck at ports

Special permission only for goods that landed at ports, airports on or before June 30

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Tuesday granted a one-time special permission for the release of consignments stuck at ports and airports of the country.

The meeting was held under the chair of Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail during which the Ministry of Commerce submitted a summary seeking permission for a one-time release of consignments of items banned on May 19, 2022, which landed at ports or airports on or before June 30, 2022.

The ministry also presented a summary on the suspension of import conditions in the import policy order 2022 with regard to the import of timber. The meeting was apprised that consignments were supplied against contracts months ago and the shipments have arrived.

The meeting decided that date of implementation of IPO 2022 regarding import of timber and wood falling under HS Codes 4401 to 4409 may be suspended till August 31, 2022, I-e for the bills issued till August 31.

In order to safeguard the local industry, the import of raw materials, intermediate goods and industrial equipment required for industrial operations and foreign grant-in-aid projects were exempted.

The ECC also approved another summary of Ministry of Commerce to amend paragraph 3(1) of the import policy order 2022 to allow import of goods of Afghan origin against Pak rupee and without the requirement of EIF forms for a period of one year, subject to the condition that Afghan exporters will provide a certificate of origin issued by Afghan Customs proving that the goods have originated from their country.

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research submitted a summary of urgent advice relating to the award of the second international wheat tender 2022 opened on July 1 for 500,000 MT. The ECC considering the lower trend of wheat in the international market approved the lowest bid offer of M/s Cargill Int. PTE /Cargill Agro Foods Pakistan @ US$ 439.40/MT for 110,000 MT +/- 5% MOLSO to the extent of 500,000 MT.

The Ministry of National Food Security & Research submitted a summary on WPF operation- purchase of 120,000 metric tons of wheat for Afghanistan in the year 2022-23. In view of the situation in Afghanistan and on humanitarian grounds, the ECC approved the WFP’s request for purchase from the imported wheat stock of PASSCO at the latest import price. The amount of supplied wheat along with cost and incidentals would be charged in US dollars.

The wheat will be locally grinded into wheat flour and will be supplied to Afghanistan by WFP, subject to relaxation of ban on the export of flour.

The Ministry of National Food Security & Research also presented another summary on the declaration of National Disease Emergency on account of the emergence of lumpy skin disease in Pakistan. After a detailed discussion, the meeting directed the ministry to prepare a cost sharing plan after convening a meeting with concerned provincial secretaries and NDMA.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Industries and Production submitted a summary on continuation of PM’s relief package, 2020, Sasta Atta initiative for KPK & expansion of Utility Stores network across Pakistan. The ECC decided to continue subsidies on five essential commodities with direction to M/o I & P to work out feasible proposals on subsidy programmes keeping in mind the financial implications.

The ECC also approved a summary submitted by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication on the constitution of the Auction Advisory Committee to oversee spectrum auction(s) for next generation mobile services (NGMS) in Pakistan. The Committee will be headed by the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue.

The ECC also approved a supplementary grant in favor of the Economic Affairs Division amounting to Rs193.006 Billion for foreign loan repayments.

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Shahzad Paracha
The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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