A meeting of the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved wheat procurement price at Rs 1,300 per 40 kilograms for the next fiscal year to support the farmers against declining wheat price in the international market. The meeting of the ECC chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was submitted summaries of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources as well as Finance Division, Ministry of National Food Security and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission for consideration and approval.
An official said the government has decided to maintain the wheat price against low international price. On a summary of Finance Division, the ECC approved lifting of withholding tax on small farmers'' scheme. The summary was submitted to seek exemption from the purview of section 236U of Income Tax Ordnance, 2001 to the Crop Loan Insurance Scheme and livestock Insurance Scheme aimed at providing risk cover to mitigate losses in case of natural disasters. The Ministry of National Food Security submitted a proposal to the ECC for extension in the export of wheat date from 30th November 2016 to 31st December 2016. The ECC approved that same rate of rebate would be given on export of wheat products like Suji, Maida and wheat flour fine (Aata) as available on per kilogram wheat export, thereby allowing export of one kilogram of Suji, Maida and wheat flour fine (Aata) against one kilogram of wheat issued. Thus there will be no extra claim of rebate. As more than 3 million tons of exportable surplus wheat is available, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research proposed to allow export of the equal quantity of Suji, Maida and wheat flour fine (Aata)/ equivalent to the quota of wheat issued.
The Ministry of National Food Security and Research proposed maintaining the minimum guaranteed price (MGP) of wheat at Rs 1,300 per 40-kg for wheat crop 2016-17. The ECC accorded approval to the proposal for maintaining the MGP at Rs 1,300 per 40-kg for wheat crop 2016-17.
The ECC also approved re-lending the China Eximbank loans to Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) for Chashma Nuclear Power Project 3 and 4 on similar terms/lines available to the loans relent to provincial governments/ departments. The Chinese loans will be relent to PAEC at actual terms and conditions available to the government of Pakistan and also the exchange rate risk will be borne by the PAEC.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources apprised the ECC of increase in natural gas production of more than 83 to 84 MMCFD from Nashpa field. The ministry stated that M/s SNGPL is also keen to receive the additional gas due to demand-supply imbalance of natural gas on its system.
The ECC approved the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources'' proposal for allocation of the additional gas up to 84 MMCFD produced from Nashpa field to SNGPL to cope with demand-supply imbalance on its system. The meeting also accorded approval in principle to re-enactment of the Ogra Amendment Ordinance, 2009 with retrospective effect containing validation and sunset clauses from the date of promulgation of the Ordinance with a condition not to change the present system of sales tax collection. The ECC approved the memorandum of agreement signed on 20th May 2016 between the Ministry of Petroleum and the Balochistan government for extension of Sui gas mining lease agreement for the next ten years.