ECC meeting today

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GMT - 3 Hours ECC meeting today

Post by εﺓз• » ιη∂αġι яσ¢χ « • on Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:12 pm

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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet will take up two controversial summaries regarding the import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and used cars in its meeting today (Tuesday), reveals the agenda of the meeting available with The News.

The meeting, chaired by Federal Finance Minister, will consider nine-point agenda along with a presentation on existing trends and ways to enhance Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Pakistan, the agenda showed.

The LNG import project, submitted by the ministry of petroleum & natural resources about a month ago, would be discussed along with a number of options, including floating fresh tenders. Chance of a decision on this multi-billion-dollar project remains high as it has long been delayed due to litigation in the apex court, the agenda said.

Under the Mashal LNG import project, Pakistan awarded the contract to GDF-Suez for importing 3.5 million tonnes of LNG per annum (equivalent to 500 million cubic feet of gas per day) which could daily generate 2,500 megawatts of electricity.

For setting up the terminal, the contract was awarded to 4Gas. However, following media reports that the government had lost $1 billion by awarding the contract to GDF-Suez, the Supreme Court directed the government to revisit its decision and bundle together the two projects (supply and building of the terminal).

This time ministry of commerce, instead of ministry of industries & production, has submitted a summary seeking permission of five-year old used cars before the ECC under the subject of “rationalising the prices of locally-manufactured cars,” it added.

The matter to allow the import of five-year old used cars may be reviewed again on the desire of prime minister’s secretariat, a note from the premier’s principal secretary, Nargis Sethi, said.

In the meanwhile, implementation of the ECC decision (case no ECC-161-/158/2010 dated 14-11-2010) in respect of increase in the age limit of used cars may be put on hold till reconsideration of the issue. Upon receiving the SOS message from the principal secretary, the ministry of commerce issued notification of reversing its earlier order within 20 days.

The agenda further said that another item submitted by the ministry of environment in Tuesday’s meeting seeks permission of exemption of taxes on renewable energy technologies. This would mainly benefit Fauji Foundation, a project of Army Welfare Trust for importing two wind turbine from a US firm “VESTAS”, worth $210 million, said an official of the ministry familiar with the development.

A summary of Board of Investment seeking custom duty exemption on the import of machinery for detergent and diaper manufacturing would also be considered, while another summary of the ministry of industries & production for immediate restoration of gas for 30 days to fertiliser industry would also be brought on the table, the agenda said.

The meeting would also take up one-time exemption from custom duty granted under SRO 812(1)/99, which states that custom duties in certain cases like transport, house, gift schemes to the federal government should be waived. According to SRO, conditions attached to grant of exemption under section 18 of the Finance Act, 1999 (IV of 1999) customs duties in certain cases (Transport Scheme, House Scheme, gift to Federal Government etc.)

Beside these summaries, the ECC would also see the status of the decisions taken in the Jan. 13 meeting, besides reviewing the key economic indicators and a presentation on the economy, said the agenda.
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