ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved another Rs 20 billion for Parliamentarians’ schemes. The move is seen as an attempt at the appeasement of the allied parties.
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting of the ECC of the Cabinet on Wednesday.
Overall, the government has approved Rs 111 billion for Parliamentarians schemes under Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Programme (SAP) against the original allocation of Rs 70 billion during the current fiscal year. As the PDM government sees the back of its short lived tenure, it is of utmost importance for the party to harbour the confidence of its allied parties.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industries and Production submitted a summary on urea requirement for the year 2023 and briefed on the urea fertiliser situation in the country.
Sources said that Ministry of National Food Security and Research has previously projected annual urea fertiliser off-take at 6.508 MMT, but in a letter dated April 3, 2023, it revised the annual estimates owing to substantial offtake in March by 86,000 MT and a production loss of 22,000 MT by Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim Limited (FFBL) due to gas issues.
The food ministry has projected the imports of 800,000 MT if Fatima Fertilizer (Sheikhupura) and Agritech (Mianwali) plants are shut down by the end of the month as scheduled.
Fertilizer Review Committee (FRC) earlier reviewed the matter in a meeting on April 6 and endorsed the proposals made by the food ministry regarding the import of 200,000 MT of Urea, extending gas supply to Fatima Fertilizer and Agritech till December 2023 and ensuring that gas pressures are maintained for optimum urea production.
The ECC after detailed discussion allowed SNGPL based fertiliser plants i-e Fatima Fertilizer (Sheikhupura) and Agritech to operate beyond May 31st, 2023 till August 31st, 2023 on indigenous gas with no subsidy requirement from the Federal Government.
The Ministry of Climate Change & Environmental Coordination submitted a summary on participation of Sindh’s Mangroves projects in voluntary Carbon Markets. The ministry reported that Sindh Forest Department is implementing two Indus Delta Mangrove projects viz Delta Blue Carbon-I(DBC-I) and Delta Blue Carbon-II (DBC-II) to generate Carbon Credits and trade with international entities on Voluntary Carbon Market(VCM). The ECC approved the proposal of the Ministry for the DBC-I and DBC-II projects as these were initiated in prior commitment made under NDCs in 2021. These projects are expected to generate about US$ 200 to 220 million till 2043 with additional benefits of creating green jobs.
The ECC considered a summary of the Ministry of Energy ( Power Division) on payment mechanisms and agreements with M/s Uch Power (Pvt) Limited. After detailed discussion, the ECC approved the proposals of the Ministry for a Novation Agreement, Master Agreement, and PPA Amendment that would result in the savings of Rs. 33 billion over a period of seven years.
The ECC also approved Rs. 2.5 million in favour of Ministry of Climate Change and Environment Coordination to meet its expenditures, Rs. 263.988 million in favour of the office of Controller General of Accounts (CGA) for implementation of online billing solution in Federal and Provincial Accountant Generals, Rs. 497.261 million in favour of Ministry of Housing and Works for the execution of development scheme titled “Construction of Railway underpass Gojra, district Toba Tek Singh”, Rs. 420 million in favour of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to meet its budgetary shortfall for Information Services abroad and Rs. 10,746.216 million in favour of Federal Directorate of Immunization (FDI) to procure vaccines and syringes for uninterrupted supply to the provinces.
The forum also approved Rs 25 million in favour of the President Secretariat for ERE expenditures, Rs. 208 million in favour of the Intelligence Bureau to meet its Employee Related Expenses and Rs 4000 million in favour of the Ministry of Defence to meet its expenditures.