ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar is chairing a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet on Tuesday.—APP
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar is chairing a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet on Tuesday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Tuesday directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research for continued operation of two urea plants — Fatima Fertiliser and Agritech — beyond the current month till October to ensure sufficient supply of the fertiliser.

About the demand and supply situation of urea and DAP fertilisers, a review of stocks would be taken in August for necessary course of correction, if needed, it was decided.

The meeting was presided over by Finance Minister Asad Umar.

The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development briefed the ECC about the current position of manpower export to different countries and its efforts for seeking employment opportunities in international labour market including the gulf countries.

The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training informed the ECC that it has developed a data bank of over 600,000 skilled manpower, who have graduated from the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission platform.

Task force formed on manpower export

The ECC directed the constitution of an inter-ministerial task force with the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis in the lead, for formulating concrete proposals with clear targets on development and export of manpower.

The ECC also approved amendments in the Import Policy Order 2016 to further beef up the existing labelling requirements for import of edible, especially ‘halal’ products. The step would ensure clarity on ingredients of imported products in Urdu for the benefit of consumers.

The Ministry of Industries and Production presented to the committee an update on the current status of National Accountability Bureau cases regarding Pakistan Steel Mills. On this, the ECC expressed concern on the slow progress of cases and directed that the cases be actively pursued. The committee further directed that a case be initiated for placement of personnel’s names on the exit control list who are under investigation in different cases.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) submitted a report to the committee, highlighting the current position of auction of abandoned containers/lots and also elaborated the procedures for clearance and disposal of consignments at ports, along with the challenges faced in the process.

The ECC, while laying emphasis on simplification of procedures and promotion of e-clearance, directed the formation of a committee headed by minister for Maritime Affairs to prepare proposals for prompt and efficient cargo clearance, both containers and vehicles, at the ports to reduce the port’s congestion and improve ease of doing business. The committee would share its proposals with the ECC in two weeks.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2019

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