ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday decided in principle to expand incentive package for exporters and allowed subsidised export of half a million tonnes of sugar at the rate of Rs10.70 per kg.
The decisions were taken at meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The meeting also extended the date for wheat export.
The meeting reviewed the impact of Prime Minister’s Export Package towards boosting the country’s exports. The Export Package worth Rs180 billion announced in January this year offered incentives to the exporters of textile and non-textile sectors for enhancing their export potential.
The meeting noted that the package had contributed significantly towards putting country’s exports into growth trajectory. The exports in first two months of this fiscal year were reported to have grown by almost 12 per cent when compared with last year.
ECC constitutes committee to propose changes to export package
There had been a demand for doing away with the condition of incentives for exporters with 10pc export growth. A proposal was also on the table to allow same incentives to the other sectors including agriculture, particularly rice and its products.
An official statement said the meeting considered various proposals for expanding the scope of export package and to include other sectors into its folds. The prime minister, however, directed that a committee be constituted comprising representatives of Finance, Commerce Division and FBR to undertake a detailed analysis of the impact of package and also propose changes in its scope and coverage.
SUGAR EXPORT: Noting the availability of 2.788 million tonnes of sugar stock, the ECC authorised the commerce ministry to allow mills export 0.5 tonnes of the commodity.
The prime minister directed that Inter-Ministerial Committee, already existing for this purpose, should regularly review sugar stock, export and price mechanism and make recommendations to the ECC in case of any abnormal price increase in the domestic market, an official statement said.
A senior official, however, said the ECC authorised the 0.5 million tonnes of export at a Rs10.70 per kg rebate, but desired that it should be separately notified by the commerce ministry. He said an inter-ministerial committee had recommended 1.5 million tonnes of export in three phases but the meeting noted that decision on such a bulk export could cause exponential price hike in the country.
The inter-ministerial committee, according to the summary to the ECC, had proposed linking the subsidy with international price trend. It was proposed that subsidy should end when international rates touch $500 per tonne mark and the millers should be compelled to make full payments to growers to be verified by the provincial cane commissioners.
It was also recommended that sugar exports should immediately be stopped in case domestic prices go out of control. The decision for sugar export at a subsidy came following a recent meeting of sugar industry with the prime minister where the industry is reported to have demanded more than Rs15 per kg subsidy.
WHEAT SUBSIDY: The ECC also approved extension in processing period of export of wheat and wheat products from Aug 31 to Oct 31.
The meeting also approved a proposal by the Petroleum division to reallocate up to 15 million cubic feet per day Jhal Magsi gas to OGDCL and to allow its sale to any third party selected through competitive bidding process under a Term Gas & Purchase Agreement (GSPA) after fulfilling gas requirement of Jhal Magsi town.
Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2017