Lahore: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin, presided over Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, today.
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Mr. Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Federal Minister for Energy Mr. Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister for Privatization Muhammedmian Soomro, Federal Minister for Railways Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Federal Secretaries and senior officers participated in the meeting.
The Aviation Division submitted a summary on the financial challenges of Roosevelt Hotel, New York and request of PIA Investment Limited (PIA-IL) for re-rolling of principal amount i-e US$ 142 Million along with mark-up payments by NBP for further period of two years ending on 31st December, 2024. PIA-IL is unable to pay the principal amount of the loan and mark-up payments on behalf of RHC due to closing/suspension of RHC, New York. The Economic Coordination Committee discussed and approved the proposal with directions to Aviation Division to prepare a roadmap for the permanent solution of the issue.
The ECC discussed and approved a summary tabled by Cabinet Division on proposals of NAPHDA for revision of customer pricing and mark-up subsidy period under Tier-I of Government mark-up subsidy scheme for low cost housing (for NAPHDA projects) and inclusion of Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) in G-MSS for housing finance with directions that there should be no direct involvement by the commercial banks in NAPHDA projects.
The ECC also approved a summary submitted by Ministry of Communication for extension in the timeline given to NHA for preparation of commercially viable Business Plan till June, 2022 with same conditions regarding CDL as decided by the Federal Cabinet. NHA’s debt restricting would be linked with the outcome of the business plan. The ECC also directed Ministry of Communication to submit a monthly progress report regularly and prepare Business Plan well before deadline.
ECC also approved a special appropriation proposal of an additional 20 million yuan from the Ministry of Communications. 8 billion (4 billion rupees as pre-viability gap funding (VGF) and 4 billion rupees as indirect expenses) for the approved GoP share of the PSDP project named “Sialkot (Sambrial)-Kharian Expressway Project (SKMP)”.
The Finance Department summarized SBP’s proposal to encourage exchange companies to return foreign exchange in the inter-bank market. According to the proposal, the exchange company may receive a cash reward of PKR 1 in response to the refund of every dollar mobilized from the inward remittance. Foreign exchange companies must pay 100% of the inward remittance on the inter-bank market. ECC approved the proposal and guided the review model for further improvements.
The ECC discussed and approved the summary tabled by Ministry of Industries and Production regarding gas rate for operations of SNGPL based plants i-e Fatima Fertilizer ( Sheikhupura plant) and Agritech for the period October 2021 to January 2022, and to keep at PKR 839/MMBTU (with variable contribution margin @186/bag).
The ECC also approved a summary submitted by National Engineering and Scientific Commission for issuance of Government’s sovereign guarantee for NECOP project worth US$ 5,822,025 for batch-IV and US$ 26,154,058 for batch –V in favour of CETC, Beijing , China to pay back loan in seven years, including two years grace time.
Ministry of Energy, Petroleum Division submitted a summary on for issuance of sovereign guarantee amounting to Rs. 24,188 million in favour of M/s Habib Metropolitan Bank Ltd and a syndicate of two banks led by United Bank Limited (UBL) for the remaining tenor of the loan and letter of comfort in favour of lender banks for new financing agreement with respect to pipeline infrastructure development project LNG-II. The Economic Coordination Committee approved the proposal.
The ECC considered and approved the summary submitted by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs for grant of relaxation to PNSC’s 19 subsidiary companies from the applicability of the Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance Rules).
The ECC approved, in principle, summary tabled by Ministry of Economic Affairs on Global Transition from LIBOR to Alternate reference rates with directions that reference rates to be adopted in future may be submitted to ECC for approval.
The ECC discussed in detail the summary proposed by the Ministry of Industry and Production on the adjustment of non-subsidized commodity prices and the continuation of non-targeted subsidies after December 31, 2021. The ECC has negotiated to allow the Ministry of Industry and Production to continue to restrict basic commodities for one month in January 2022.