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    ECC approved import of 1.0 million tons of wheat through the private sector

    Chitral Times Report

    ISLAMABAD: ECC on 10-06-2020 approved import of 1.0 million tons of wheat through the private sector by waiving off all Duties and Taxes. Cabinet while ratifying the above decision on 16-06-202 directed ECC to decide open-ended import of wheat or otherwise. The ECC on 15-07-2020 re-affirmed earlier decision of import for un-limited period and directed to explore opportunity for the import of wheat on Government To Government basis and asked Provincial Governments to exempt the imported wheat from the Anti-Hoarding Act and waiver off provincial taxes on the import of wheat. In line with the above decision to allow public sector to participate a Summary was moved to the Cabinet for import of 1.5 MMT of wheat through the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) with exemption of PPRA Rules, 2004 and all duties and taxes of the Federal Government. Accordingly, endorsement was given for this wheat by PASSCO for 0.50 MMT, Punjab for 0.70 MMT and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for 0.30 MMT. However; Punjab asked to provide imported wheat @ Rs. 1400/- 40 Kg at the rate of control price. Finance Division did not agree with the proposal of Punjab, and viewed that the province either bear the entire cost of TCP or allow Finance Division to make at-source deduction. The MNFS&R on 17-08-2020 moved a Summary for the ECC on Current Issues of Wheat Pertaining to its Availability, Price and Import The ECC of the Cabinet on 21-08-2020 directed TCP to import 0.2 MMT of wheat, intge first instance, for PASSCO and directed Minister for EAD and MNFSR to get endorsement of provinces. Sindh and KP had provided the endorsement for the quantity of 0.150 MMT each, through TCP on the terms, conditions and the cost of wheat (@ Rs. 1910/- 40 Kg) worked out by the TCP. However, Punjab Government did not respond. ECC of the Cabinet on 17-17-2020 discussed in detail the need to import wheat in adequate quantity through public and private sector as per requirement of the country and to maintain sufficient strategic reserves of wheat. It was decided that TCP will import wheat in adequate quantities from time to time to cater for the National requirement at a reasonable price. In view of above, MNFS&R states that decision of Government in terms of the quantity to be imported as well as financial cost accrued by the Provinces and in case of PASSCO by the Federal Government in order to bridge the gap between demand and supply of the country and to maintain strategic reserves. The Federal Government in context of wheat import, whether through private or public sector or through GTG ,has clear strategy .

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