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ECC Approves Tender for Import of 120,000MT Wheat

The federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin, presided over a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet at the Finance Division today.

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Based on the recommendation of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, the ECC approved the tender for the procurement of 120,000 MT of wheat in compliance with the directive of the Cabinet to procure four million MT of wheat to build strategic reserves during the current financial year.

The ECC urged the Chairman of the TCP to expedite efforts to import wheat to stabilize the local prices and to ensure a smooth supply of wheat across the country. The committee also directed the Chairman of the TCP to present a detailed report to the Adviser on Commerce about the timeline of the wheat imports and other requisite details at the earliest.

At the meeting, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs presented a summary of the revision in the tariff enabling the Fauji Oil Terminal and Distribution Company (FOTCO) to meet the operating and maintenance expenses that were approved in 2000 for a period of 20 years, but not revised.

After due deliberation, the committee approved the revision in the tariff for the FOTCO, locked for five years and to be paid in equivalent Pakistani rupees.

The ECC constituted a sub-committee comprising the representatives of the Ministry of Petroleum, the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), Pakistan State Oil (PSO), M/s A.F Ferguson, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, and Finance Division, to be headed by the Chairman Deputy Chairman Planning to decide about the tariff differential accumulated between 2012 and 2020.

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The Ministry of Maritime Affairs tabled another summary of the relaxation to 19 subsidiary companies of the PNSC under the Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) rules. The ECC approved the relaxation in the rules until June 2021, with a directive to explore the option of formulating independent boards for the subsidiaries to be headed by CEOs as per the principles of corporate governance.

The ECC considered and approved a summary presented by the Ministry of National Health Services regarding exemption from taxes and duties on the import of auto-disable syringes and raw material products for the local manufacturing of auto-disable syringes that enabled the transformation from conventional to auto-disable syringes.

The Chairman of the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) presented a summary on the strengthening of the Inland Revenue Enforcement Network (IREN) to combat tax evasion and the leakage of duties payable on specified goods through the enforcement of a Track & Trace system. The IREN will also check the goods supplied out of the former FATA/PATA areas to ascertain validity and conformity.

The ECC considered and approved this summary.

As the Chairman of the ECC, Minister Tarin remarked that the FBR will create goodwill and avoid harassment in the enforcement of rules and regulations for the collection of taxes and duties. At the same time, it will take firm action to prevent tax evasion and will broaden the tax base to contribute to the national exchequer. Additionally, a proper system of checks and balances will be followed.

He urged the FBR to use the latest technology-based solutions for tax collection to reduce reliance on traditional enforcement methodologies.

The Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam; the Minister for Interior, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed; the Minister for Privatization, Muhammad Mian Soomro; the Minister for Maritime Affairs, Syed Ali Zaidi; the Minister for Railways, Azam Khan Swati: the MOS on Information, Farrukh Habib; the SAPM on Power and Petroleum, Tabish Gauhar; the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Reza Baqir; Federal Secretaries, the Chairman of the FBR; and other senior officers attended the meeting.

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