The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet Wednesday imposed ban on export of wheat and wheat flour; and directed for convening the meeting of National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) to suggest measures for controlling price-hike trend of ‘Roti’ (bread) and wheat products in the local market with the cooperation of the provincial governments.
The ECC met here with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the chair, according to a Finance Ministry’s press release.
The Ministry of National Food Security and Research presented a report before the committee on wheat situation, highlighting that adequate stocks were available in the country to cater for the needs of the population. It was also highlighted that the procured quantity of wheat in the current year was 33% less than that procured last year.
The committee also approved the National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML) to fix the Dealer Transfer Price (DTP) of 50 kg imported Urea bag at Rs1,800 which is Rs166 less than the prevailing average market price of Sona Urea i.e. Rs1,966 per 50 kg bag.
The difference in Urea import price and approved dealer transfer price for the NFML dealers was estimated at Rs.937.92 million. The NFML was also directed to ensure enforcement of the price through coordination with the provincial governments.
The ECC allowed PIA Corporation Limited to make a re-appropriation in its already approved budget of Rs 24 billion for the upgradation of in-flight entertainment (IFE) system of its fleet for eight Boeing-777 aircraft. The project, which would cost Rs 700 million, would improve the occupancy of the airline to 80 per cent from the current level of 70 per cent.
The ECC endorsed the decision of the Governing Council of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to change the base of price statistics from 2007-08 to 2015-16. The new base 2015-16 of price statistics would have different features, including inclusion of rural market, introduction of population weight based on recent Population Census 2017, computation of indices based on Weighted Geometric Mean, introduction of consumption quintiles instead of income quintiles, introduction of consumer weighted approach to compute gas prices for combined income group; introduction of GST, other taxes Fuel Price Adjustment to compute electricity tariffs using consumer weighted approach.
It was also decided that for the purpose of comparative analysis, the old series of 2007-08 would continue to be published for another year along with the new series of 2015-16.
On the summary moved by the Ministry of Commerce and Textile, it was decided that the scrap slag, ash and residues containing metals, arsenic or their compounds (containing mainly Aluminum under PCT 2620.4000) might be moved from Appendix-A (Banned Items) to Appendix-B (Restricted Items) of the Import Policy Order, 2016.
However, in order to forestall the chances of import of hazardous waste, the import had been subjected to different conditions, which included that it should be importable only by industrial consumer having recycling facilities, subject to a no-objection certificate from the Ministry of Climate Change and duly certified by provincial Environmental Protection Agency (Federal EPA, in case of Islamabad Capital Territory).
It should have a pre-shipment inspection certificate and consent of the Focal Point of Basel Convention from the country of export to the effect that the waste/scrap was non-hazardous as defined in the Basel Convention. The imported consignments of the registered recycling plants would be cleared from seaport only.
The ECC also considered and approved the notification of Minimum Indicative Prices (MIP) of tobacco for the year 2019-20.
As per Section 8 of the Pakistan Tobacco Board Ordinance 1968, the MIP for different grades of various types of tobacco are to be notified by the Federal Government. The prices suggested for notification included Rs190.63 for FCV Tobacco (Plain); Rs 218.77 for FCV Tobacco (Sub-Mountainous); Rs 82.85 for WP Tobacco; Rs150.54 For Burley Tobacco and Rs 94.76 DAC Tobacco.
The ECC also allowed that new PCT codes, as created in the Pakistan Customs Tariff through the Finance Act, 2019, might also be incorporated in SRO 693(I)/2006 dated July 1st, 2006 so that levy of additional customs duty collected on those parts of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) of engine capacities 1001cc to 1500cc and 1501cc to 1800cc which have been localized, might be appropriately accounted for under separate PCT codes.
The report on National Poverty Graduation Programme of US $ 82.60 million was also submitted for compliance of the ECC by the Secretary Economic Affairs Division.