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ECC allows conditional export of 225,000 tons of sugar

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Wednesday allowed the conditional export of 225,000 metric tons of sugar from the surplus after ascertaining that 1.23 million metric tons of surplus sugar would be available in the country.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting that ECC decided that the Ministry of Commerce should ensure that there are adequate checks and balances available to maintain the price stability in the domestic market.

In case the domestic price stability is disturbed, the commerce ministry would send a summary to cancel the export permission to sugar exporters.

The meeting also decided that unlike previous years there will be no freight export rebate payable by the government to sugar exporters on such exports.

Furthermore, only those mills will be allowed to export which have cleared outstanding dues of farmers relating to the last season and have started crushing at full capacity.

Gas allocation to Guddu thermal power plant

The ECC also approved proposal by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to allocate additional 50 MMCFD gas from Habib Rahi Limestone (HRL) reservoir to Thermal Power Station Guddu.

The allocation is subject to installation of compression plant and allocation of additional 26 MMCFD gas from HRL reservoir to the old plant of Engro Fertilizer.

ECC recommended the proposal of the Revenue Division Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to extend the period of reduced of withholding tax rate of 0.4 percent for non-filers of income tax returns from 1st January 2017 to 31st March 2017.

ZTBL principal debt conversion

The Finance Division apprised the ECC that State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) principal debt amounting Rs 54.460 billion outstanding against Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL).

The principal debt is being converted into redeemable preference shares at 7.5 percent per annum, redeemable in 10 years in one payment at end of 2025.

In this regard, the ECC approved issuance of guarantee of Rs 54.460 billion by the government in favour of SBP for principal debt of the preference shares and returns.

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