Exports, remittances may touch highest marks: ECC

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet here on Tuesday was informed that the exports and expatriates’ remittances could touch the highest marks this year.

The ECC, which met here with the Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Dr.Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in chair was apprised that the exports may touch the $ 20 billion mark and the remittances could increase to $ 10 billion for the first time in the history of the country.

The committee after having detailed deliberations decided to approve the summary moved by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources which prayed to the committee for the allocation of gas at wellhead from Oil and Gas Development Corporation Limited’s (OGDCL) dormant fields.

The summary had proposed that the gas from Nur Bagla, Jakhro and Sara West fields may be allocated to the Government of Sindh or its designated entity at Wellhead, subject to the terms and conditions: that OGDCL will be paid petroleum concession agreement, policy price for gas as well as products i.e. LPG and condensate, product disposal by the buyer, in accordance with the prevalent rules/regulations and all applicable taxes.

The summary was moved in light of the 18th Amendment whereby mineral and natural resources are given as a subject to the provinces.

The ECC also deliberated at length over the summary moved by the Ministry of Industries and Production for the immediate restoration of gas for 30 days to the fertilizer industry for which a number of combination of proposals were also put forth for the facilitation of the committee.

During the course of deliberations the committee was apprised that 55,000 tons of urea is stocked with the Trading Corporation of Pakistan, but that stock was specified to be distributed among the flood victims through provinces.

The Federal Minister for Finance, the Chairman of the ECC delegated the task to the already constituted committee on this matter for the import of 225 million tons of the commodity to know: the available urea quantity in the country, gas availability for the fertilizer companies and to get assurance from to SABIC (Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation) for the delivery of urea before February 15, 2011.

The Committee also saw the financial implications that are the issue of pricing of the 250,000 tons of urea.

The Chairman also tasked the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Agriculture Kamal Majeedullah to talk to the Government of Sindh about the 55,000 tons of urea presently stocked with TCP, which meant for the flood victims of the Sindh Province, so that this stock may be utilized for the general farmer, and the next production/or input shall be given to the Province of Sindh.

On the summary moved by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for the import of LNG, it was decided that the Law Ministry may be consulted and review it in details.