ECC approves Rs 15 billion for ECP to help conduct general elections

ISLAMABAD: Economic Coordination Committee of Cabinet has approved Rs 15 billion in favour of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to help make arrangements to conduct the general Election in the country.

The meeting of ECC was held with Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar in the chair. Sources told Pakistan Today that the ECP had sought a release of Rs47.417 billion including Rs18 billion for FY 2022-23 and Rs28 billion for next fiscal year of 2023-24 to help hold general elections.

As per the Finance division handout, the ECC approved Rs 15 billion in favour of the ECP for current Financial Year 2022-23 to conduct the general election in the country. Out of Rs 15 billion, Rs 5 billion will be released immediately while the balance will be released in tranches on utilization of the first tranche.

Finance Division submitted a summary on launch of Credit Guarantee Scheme under Credit Guarantee Trust Fund through Second Supplemental Trust Deed. It was presented that Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company Limited (PMRC) has been set up as a joint initiative of the Govt of Pakistan and Commercial Banks/Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) to provide medium and long term funding to primary mortgage lenders by raising from the capital debt market at cheaper rates.

PMRC being the trustee launched a scheme titled, Credit Guarantee Trust Scheme under the First Supplemental Trust Deed. To expand the provision of risk cover to FIs against financing in housing sector, the WB approved an additional credit line to Govt of Pakistan for housing finance project which may be passed on to Credit Guarantee Trust Fund.

In view of above, the ECC allowed to launch a new scheme titled, Credit Guarantee Trust Scheme for low income housing through Second Supplemental Trust Deed with an amount of US$85 million to be obtained from the World Bank (WB) to provide risk cover to financing institutions against their financing in the housing sector.

The Ministry of National Food Security & Research submitted a summary on fixation and notification of Minimum Indicative Prices of Tobacco Crop 2023. After detailed deliberation, the ECC approved Rs310 per KG price of plain Area, Rs 351 Sub-mountainous Area, Rs 190 Dark Air-Cured Tobbaco, Rs146 White Patta, Rs 223 Burley, Rs146 Naswar/ Snuff/Hookah and other Rustica tobacco and its products and Rs 200 Sun Cured Virginia minimum indicative prices for various types of tobacco for different areas for 2023 tobacco crop.

The Power Division submitted a summary on Uniform tariff for K-electric. It was submitted that KE applicable uniform variable charge is required to be modified to maintain the uniform tariff across the country with category wise increases including general supply tariff – residential, general supply tariff – commercial, industrial supply tariff, bulk supply tariff, agriculture tariff, and public lighting with recovery period of four months.

It was also shared that such adjustment shall be applicable on the consumption from Oct-22 to Jan-23 to be recovered from consumers in Dec-22 to Mar-23, respectively. The ECC after deliberation approved this proposal. The Power Division submitted another summary on settlement of payables to Government Owned Power Plants at par with IPPS.

The ECC approved Technical Supplementary Grant of Rs. 93.438 billion in three tranches of Rs. 31.146 billion each. The Ministry of Commerce submitted a summary on Individual Tariff Rationalization proposals from different sectors for review of Regulatory Duties (RDs). The ECC after discussion approved the proposal to reduce RD on Disodium Carbonate (PCT– 2836.2000) from current rate of 20% to 10% and imposed RD at rate of 5% on filament Yarns (PCT 5402.3300, 5402.4600, 5402.4700, 5402.5200 and 5402.6200).

The ECC discussed summary submitted by Ministry of National Food Security & Research submitted on Kissan Package-2022 and approved base tariff for electric tube wells at Rs. 13/kWH from Rs. 16.60/kWH, providing relief to farmers of Rs 3.60/kWH effective from 1st November, 2022 to compensate the damage caused by the floods and heavy rains.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting submitted a summary for allocation of budget to launch a comprehensive media awareness campaign on government initiatives, programmes and projects. The ECC after detailed discussion approved a Supplementary Grant of Rs. 2 billion for flood related media campaigns.

The ECC also approved Technical Supplementary Grant amounting to Rs. 162.521 million in favour of Ministry of Housing and Works in addition to approving Rs. 250 million for execution of development scheme titled “ Construction of Railway underpass, Gojra, District Toba Tek Singh” and Rs. 144.210 million for execution of development schemes in District D.I. Khan. 

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