Pakistan’s cabinet committee approves Rs 636.05 mln to cope with locust threat

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By Muhammad Luqman
The Economic Coordination Committee of Cabinet (ECC) has approved a Rs 636.05 million Technical Supplementary Grant (TSG) for National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to combat the challenge of locust across the country.
The meeting of the committee was held here under the chairmanship of Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue,Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh
Pakistan has already declared national emergency to overcome the locust that has been responsible for destruction of crops in southern half of the country, mainly in Balochistan, Sindh and lower Punjab provinces.
The ECC also allowed the public sector procurement of 8.25 million tons of wheat at the rate of Rs 1365 per 40 kg for coming season.
If need arises, 0.5 million tons of wheat will be imported around the year to cater for any shortages, officials said.
Additional 100,000 tons of wheat has been allocated to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 50,000 tons to Sindh from federal procurement agency, Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) to cater for scarcity in the provinces till the end of current wheat year.
The committee also decided to ban export of onion till May 30, 2020 to ensure smooth supply of the kitchen commodity across the country.
Meanwhile on a summary moved by the Ministry of Energy, Power Division for “1263.2 MW RLNG based power generation Project near Trimmu Barrage by Punjab Thermal Power (PVT) Limited, the ECC allowed “GSA to be signed by Sui Northern Gas Pipeline (SNGP) on “As available” basis.
The committee also approved TSG valuing Rs 451.681 million for Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority during current fiscal year.
Technical Supplementary Grant of Rs 110 million has also been approved in favor of Ministry of Planning and Development for Afghan Projects.
The ECC also approved TSG of 5.9 million for capacity building of teachers training institutes and training of elementary teachers in former FATA, GB, AJK, ICT.
The meeting approved amendment in Import Policy Order 2016(SRO 237(1)/2019) under which Halal logo from country of origin would be cleared by customs till April 30 2020.
ECC also allowed import of controlled chemicals such as acetone, anthracitic acid, ethyl ether, hydrochloric acid and sulphuric acid by commercial importers

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