ISLAMABAD             -               The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday has approved that outstanding wharfage of Rs1.696 billion on import of LNG by Pakistan State Oil (PSO) will be paid in 10 equal installments without interest over a period of next ten years.

The ECC under the chair of Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has considered the summary of Ministry of Maritime Affairs regarding recovery of outstanding wharfage of Rs1.696 billion on import of LNG by PSO. The ECC has also decided that in January 2023, a committee will review the circumstances and suggest any possibility for early repayment of the remaining sum. The decision was taken on the recommendations of the committee constituted under the chairmanship of Minister for Economic Affairs.

The ECC has also approved technical supplementary grant of Rs4.152 billion for Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to meet expenditures of head office and field formations. FBR and its field formation are facing acute shortage of funds under the mandatory head of accounts which cannot be shifted to the next financial year 2020-21. Moreover, FBR and its filed formations have been incurring expenditure under various heads on day to day basis for the achievement of Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) under Pakistan Raises Revenue Program, resulting in further deterioration of the financial constraints.

The ECC while approving the supplementary grant has also directed FBR Chairperson to give a detailed briefing on the initiative to the ECC in the next meeting. The ECC approved the Technical supplementary Grant of Rs44.447 million for Islamabad Capital territory to execute “National Program for improvement of Watercourses phase ii in ICT, Productivity Enhancement of wheat, Prime Minister’s Initiative for save the calf, calf feedlot fattening in Pakistan and development of backyard poultry in ICT”. Ministry of National Food security and research had surrendered the amount in favor of ICT Administration.

The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development presented a report of the Task Force on Overseas Employment and Welfare of Overseas Pakistanis. ECC in its earlier decision of 19th Feb 2019 had constituted an inter-ministerial task force under the chairmanship of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development to look into the issues of overseas employment for Pakistani manpower and make recommendations in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human resource development, Mr. Zulfi Bukhari gave a presentation on various important issues and the measures taken regarding: Identification of trades and skill sets in demand in order to meet the requirements of international job market , development of a centralized TVET certification and verification system and improving regulatory mechanism for curbing sub-standard certifications and helping provincial TEVTAs in developing their skill development capacities, developing mechanism for sharing data among NAVTTC and BE&OE/OEC on employment opportunities and available skills, efficient provision of E-Passport, NICOP, POC to overseas Pakistanis, issues of overseas Pakistani Schools and developing a National Emigration and Welfare Policy for Overseas Pakistanis.

The Chair appreciated different measures taken by the Committee and further directed the Committee to come to the ECC forum, a month after the budget, and brief on the overall progress made on the measures taken by the Committee for the welfare of overseas Pakistanis.