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Cabinet rejects ECC proposal to import cotton, sugar from India

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet rejected on Thursday an Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) proposal to allow the import of cotton and sugar from India, reported ARY News.

Prime Minister Imran Khan presided over a meeting of the cabinet through video link from his Bani Gala residence. During the meeting, Finance Minister Hammad Azhar gave a detailed briefing on yesterday’s decision of the ECC to import sugar and wheat from India.

Sources relayed that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar and Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed opposed the ECC proposal.

The cabinet was also given a briefing on the third wave of Covid-19 and the measures taken to contain it. Expressing concern over rising cases, the prime minister called for the strict enforcement of the SOPs.

Addressing a press conference after chairing a meeting of the ECC the other day, Finance Minister Hammad Azhar had said the committee allowed the private sector to import half a million tonnes of sugar from India.

Beside sugar, he said the ban on the import of cotton from the neighbouring country is being removed until June-end.

“Pakistan decided to import sugar from India to plug the shortage of the commodity and stabilise its prices,” Hammad Azhar explained. “Sugar to be imported from India will be Rs15 to 20 cheaper.”

“The import of cotton from India will benefit small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” he said.

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