March 17, 2021: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, chaired the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet held today.
Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, Federal Minister for Privatization Muhammad Mian Soomro, Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to the PM for Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain, SAPM on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, SAPM on Power Tabish Gauhar, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Reza Baqir, Secretary Finance, Secretary Power Division, Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Additional Secretary M/o Industries and Production, Chairman Naya Pakistan Housing & Development Authority, Chairman BOI and other senior officials participated in the meeting.
Chairman, Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAPHDA) presented revised eligibility criteria for selection of applicants, modalities for payment of cost subsidy, and mechanism for release of funds with reference to the special incentive package for the Housing and Construction sector, announced by the Prime Minister in July 2020.
After due deliberation, the Committee approved the stipulated eligibility criteria and payment mechanism for cost subsidy against 100,000 housing units to be constructed during phase-I by the end of the year. The Committee urged NAPHDA to facilitate access to housing finance at affordable rates for expanding housing ownership in accordance with the vision of the Prime Minister, enabling low-to-middle income groups to avail low-cost housing facility according to their affordability.
The ECC considered and approved another summary by the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAPHDA) seeking permission to enter into negotiated procurement agreements for the construction of low-cost housing through public-private partnerships (PPPs).
Similarly, the Committee also approved a summary by NAPHDA about revision in key parameters of the Mark up Subsidy Scheme for housing finance, as recommended by the State Bank of Pakistan, to ensure maximum participation for access to quality housing at an affordable price by fulfilling relatively relaxed eligibility criteria.
The Ministry of Industries and Production placed a summary before the Committee regarding Late Payment Surcharge (LPS) for operations of SNGPL based Fertilizer Plants between September 2018 to November 2019. After seeking input from relevant stakeholders, the Committee deferred the summary with a direction that LPS may be calculated on the actual cost incurred and a revised proposal be placed before the Committee for consideration.
Ministry of Energy (Power Division) tabled a summary regarding the decision of the Authority for Fuel Charge Adjustment (FCA). After a detailed discussion, the Committee directed the Secretaries of the Finance and Power Divisions to deliberate further and present an updated proposal before the next ECC.
Power Division submitted another proposal regarding payment of outstanding dues and settlement of tariff issues with the Azad Jammu & Kashmir Government. After a detailed evaluation, a sub-committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of the Adviser to the PM for Institutional Reforms Dr. Ishrat Hussain including SAPM on Energy, Secretary Finance, Secretary Power, and representatives from the Ministry of Water Resources, WAPDA, NEPRA, and the Government of AJK.
The ECC also considered and approved a summary by the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) regarding GOP sovereign guarantee against financing facility of PKR 15,250 million from local banks for the evacuation of Power from 2×660 MW Thar Coal Based Project (SSRL/SECL).
Secretary, M/o NF&S updated the Committee about the import of 300,000 MT of wheat through Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) in compliance with the earlier decision of the ECC dated 20-01-2021. Accordingly, TCP opened the Ninth International Tender. The ECC approved to import of 300,000 MT of wheat.
In addition to above, the following Technical Supplementary Grants were approved by the ECC:
• Rs. 61 million to the Ministry of Railways for the completion of the project titled “Feasibility study for a new rail link between Peshawar to Jalalabad through Loi Shalman valley”
• Rs. 29.38 million to the National Heritage and Culture Division for the Quaid-e-Azam Academy, Karachi.
• Rs. 413.77 million to the Ministry of Housing and Works for renewal of the lease of Garden West (Pakistan Quarters), Karachi.
• Rs. 233.443 million to Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) for E-Procurement System.