ECC Approves Purchase of 120,000MT Wheat For Afghanistan Under WFP

The government has approved the purchase of 120,000 metric tons of wheat for Afghanistan in the year 2022-23 under the World Food Program (WFP).

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail presided over the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet at the Finance Division today.

Ministry of National Food Security & Research submitted a summary of WPF operation for the purchase/reservation 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 request of the WFP for the purchase/ reservation of 120,000 MT of wheat 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 ground into wheat flour and will be supplied to Afghanistan by WFP, subject to relaxation of the ban on the export of flour to the extent of the instant proposal of 120,000 MT of wheat.

Ministry of National Food Security and Research submitted a summary on urgent advice relating to the award of the second international wheat tender 2022 opened on 1st July 2022 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 at US$ 439.40 per MT for 110,000 MT +/- 5 percent MOLSO to the extent of 500,000 MT.

Ministry of National Food Security & Research presented another summary on the declaration of “National Disease Emergency” on account of the Emergence of Lumpy Skin disease in Pakistan. The ECC after a detailed discussion directed the Ministry of National Food Security & Research to prepare a cost-sharing plan after convening a meeting with concerned provincial secretaries and NDMA.

Ministry of Commerce submitted a summary to seek permission for the one-time release of those consignments of items banned on 19th May 2022 which have reached Pakistan or would reach their payments. In order to resolve the hardship cases, the ECC granted one-time special permission for the release of consignments stuck at the ports due to contravention framed under SRO 598(I)/2022 dated 19th May 2022, only for those consignments which have landed at ports or airports in Pakistan on or before 30th June 2022.

Ministry of Commerce presented a summary on suspension of import conditions contained in import policy order 2022 with regard to import of Timber/Wood. In view of the hardship case of timber importers, as the consignments were supplied against contracts months ago and the shipments have already arrived, the ECC decided that the date of implementation of IPO 2022 regarding import of timber and wood falling under HS Codes 4401 to 4409 may be suspended till 31st August 2022 i-e for the bills of Lading issued till 31st August 2022.

The ECC also approved another summary of the Ministry of Commerce to amend paragraph 3(1) of the Import Policy Order 2022 to allow the import of goods of Afghan origin against the Pakistani 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 Afghanistan.

Ministry of Industries and Production (MoI&P) submitted a summary on the continuation of PM’s relief package, 2020, the Sasta Atta initiative for KPK, and the expansion of the Utility Stores network across Pakistan. The ECC decided to continue subsidy on five essential commodities with direction to MoI&P to work out a feasible proposal on the subsidy program 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 Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue.

The ECC also approved a supplementary grant in favor of the Economic Affairs Division amounting to Rs. 193.006 Billion for foreign loan repayments.

The meeting was attended by the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister of State for Petroleum Division Musadik Masood Malik, Federal Secretaries, and senior officers.