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ECC approves Rs2bn Ramazan package

July 20, 2011

The new rates will apply on the existing prices at the Utility Stores. – File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet approved on Wednesday subsidised prices for 16 kitchen items as part of a Rs2 billion Ramazan package.

The ECC meeting, presided over by Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, set up a committee to work out a mechanism to ensure that consumers benefited from the subsidy, and not stockists and hoarders.

The committee approved a subsidy of Rs4 per kg on wheat flour, Rs15 per kg/litre on ghee/oil, Rs10 per kg on dal chana, white gram, dal moong, dal mash, baisan (chakki), dates (khajoor), basmati rice, saila rice, broken rice, syrups (sharbat bottles) and squashes (bottles), Rs40 per 190 gram on tea and Rs5 per litre on tetra pack milk and 10 per cent discount on all spices.

The new rates will apply on the existing prices at the Utility Stores.

The ECC decided that 200,000 tons of atta, 55,000 tons of ghee/oil, 4,000 tons of dal chana, 3,000 tons of white gram, 1,200 tons of dal moong, 1,000 dal mash, 3,000 tons of baisan, 400 tons of dates, 3,000 tons of basmati rice, 2,000 tons of saila rice, 4,000 tons of broken rice, 1,000,000 tons of syrups (sharbat), 500 tons of tea, 2,000 tons of tetra pack milk and 500 tons of spices will be available at the Utility Stores during Ramazan.

The finance minister directed the authorities concerned to ensure availability of these items throughout Ramazan. The ministry of industries was also asked to keep its monitoring teams alert throughout the country.

The Ramazan package did not include sugar because it is already being sold at a subsidised rate.

The committee constituted committees to look into the issues related to import of urea, sale of subsidised wheat in Gilgit-Baltistan and monitoring of the Ramazan package.

The Ramazan package will benefit the consumer in about 50 per cent of the union councils at 5,700 utility stores throughout the country, leaving out a large segment of the population, especially in far-flung rural areas.

The meeting was informed that the procurement of sugar from mills was not required until December because of sufficient reserves.

However, the finance minister agreed to meet the authorities concerned soon to discuss the matter.

The ECC constituted a committee, to be headed by the finance minister, to have further deliberations on import of urea for Kharif 2011 and Rabi 2011-12. Minister for Water and Power Naveed Qamar, Minister for Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission and industries secretary will be members of the committee.

The committee approved a request made by the minister of water and power for the waiver of demurrage and detention charges for 425MW combined cycle power project at Nandipur, being implemented by the Northern Power Generation Company subject to approval by the law division.

If the law division raised an objection, the matter shall be referred to the cabinet for further discussion.

Machinery for the power project is lying at the Karachi port because the authorities won’t release it.

The ECC had approved the project on Dec 27, 2007, at an agreed price of $329 million. However, it was subject to the provision of guarantee by the Ministry of Finance for the loan of $329 million.