Ramazan package slashed to Rs 1.6 billion from Rs two billion

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The Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved Rs 1.602 billion Ramazan Package after slashing Rs 398 million from Rs 2 billion allocated for the purpose in the budget for the current fiscal year.

The ECC meeting chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar considered a summary of Ministry of Industries and Production for Ramazan Relief Package 2017 to provide subsidies of Rs 1.602 billion on 19 commodities to provide relief to the general public in the upcoming holy month of Ramazan.

Wheat flour (atta), sugar, ghee, oil, pulses (channa, masoor, moong washed and mash washed), white grams, baisen, dates, rice, squashes, black tea, milk, and spices would be sold at reduced prices at Utility Stores Corporation (USC) outlets. The meeting was informed that in addition to the relief provided by the Ramazan Package, the USC will also reduce prices of over 2,400 other items under different brands from 5% to 10% by obtaining a special discount from vendors/suppliers and reducing its own profit margins.

The ECC decided to increase the quantity of urea approved for export from the existing 0.3 million metric tons to 0.6 million metric tons. The ECC also extended the deadline for export of urea from 28th April 2017 to 31st October 2017.

These decisions were made by the ECC after considering the proposal of the Ministry of Commerce, based on the recommendations of the Fertilizer Review Committee. The ECC was informed that sufficient production and inventory of urea of domestic consumption is anticipated during the Kharif 2017 for allowing its export. On a proposal by the Finance Division, the ECC approved the restoration of import duty and sales tax on import of cotton with effect from 15th July 2017. The decision has been made to boost the confidence of domestic cotton growers during the upcoming sowing season.-Business Recorder

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