ISLAMABAD – Newly-appointed Finance Minister Senator Saleem H Mandviwalla would chair first meeting of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Friday (today) as chairman of the committee.

Saleem H Mandviwalla, who assumed the charge of Finance Minister on Wednesday would chair the meeting of ECC today that would review the economic situation of the country. Mandviwalla would chair ECC meeting for the first time since he took new responsibility as a finance minister. Secretary Finance would brief the committee about the current economic situation of the country.

The ECC would review performance of cash-starved Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). Pakistan Steel Mills is in a serious financial crisis as a leading bank has refused to extend Rs 3 billion financial facility until formal approval of Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet. The ECC is likely to take discuss this issue in detail.

The Economic Coordination Committee is likely to review its decision on imposing ban on import of CNG cylinder in order to discourage the usage of environment friendly fuel in the country owing to severe gas crisis.

Sources said that Ministry of Industries has been proposed to Economic Coordination Committee that the import of cylinders and kits may be allowed for those shipments for which a letter of credit was opened, or bank guarantee or contract as per State Bank Regulations had already been concluded, before December 31, 2011. The move is expected to help certain influential individuals clear 59 consignments of cylinders which were awaiting clearance due to the ban imposed in September last year.

Sources said that ECC would also review the gas load management plan. In last approved gas load management plan the ECC decided that first priority order would be given to the domestic and commercial sectors. The power and general industries sectors would be accorded second and third priority, respectively. Whereas cement sector would be the fourth and CNG sector would be the fifth priority.  The ECC would also take review the wheat and sugar stock in the country.