ECC Allows Asian Development Bank to Issue Offshore Bonds for Foreign Investors

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has allowed Asian Development Bank to issue offshore Pakistan Rupee Linked Bonds for international investors, subject to completion of all codal formalities.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting of ECC on Wednesday at the Prime Minister’s office.

The program, according to the recommendation of SBP, shall be restricted to a maximum of $200 million. The local currency proceeds of the bonds shall be used for financing long term infrastructure and energy projects in Pakistan.

Further, in order to ensure the availability of wheat and flour in the country throughout the year at affordable prices, ECC directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFSR) to accelerate efforts for wheat imports.

ECC directed the Ministry of NFSR to hold a meeting with the major importers of wheat and come up with proposals that may indicate the expected price of imported wheat and if there is any need for the government to allow subsidy on the product to keep the prices stable.

Ministry of NFSR briefed the ECC that combined, the provincial governments and PASSCO have already achieved 79% of their procurement targets. More than 120 importers are interested to import wheat in the country. The committee ordered the ministry of NFSR to extend requested facilitation to the importers including waivers of different taxes and duties. Provincial governments, Trade Corporation of Pakistan, and PASSCO may arrange wheat imports as soon as possible to avoid shortages during the year.

ECC allowed the Finance Division to release Rs. 1 billion to SSGCL for undertaking gas supply to localities/villages falling within 5 KM of gas fields in order to comply with the Supreme Court and High court decisions.

The committee permitted equity investment abroad amounting to SAR 22.5 million by Eastern Products Ltd. On this occasion, ECC approved the increase of limit for investments abroad (to be approved/allowed by SBP) from $5 million to $10 million beyond which the permission will have to be sought from ECC.

For the implementation of the E-office program, ECC directed the Ministry of Information Technology and FIA to withdraw complaints against LMKR as well as inquiries by FIA on projects of LMKR subject to fulfillment of agreement clauses. Ministry of Planning Development and special initiatives were directed to activate the project on the request of NITB and provide requisite funds to complete the work.

Five projects of different types in North West Industrial Zone and South West Industrial Zone by Port Qasim Authority to be developed with their own funds were approved by ECC with the direction to the Ministry and PQA to observe all the codal formalities for their completion.