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ECC okays export of 250,000 tonnes of sugar

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  • Govt okays to export 250,000 tonnes of sugar. 
  • Quantity includes export of 100,000 tonnes approved in last meeting. 
  • Finance minister Ishaq Dar presided over ECC meeting. 

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has greenlighted the export of 250,000 tonnes of sugar with the condition that the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) ensures that the prices of sweetener would not exceed Rs85-90/kg in the domestic market.

The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Senator Ishaq Dar presided over the ECC meeting on Tuesday. Those who attended the meeting include Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan, Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Bashir Cheema, former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Masood Malik, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, SAPM on Government Effectiveness Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan, Coordinator to PM on Commerce & Industry Rana Ihsan Afzal, federal secretaries and senior officers.

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research submitted a summary on the export of sugar during the year 2022-23 and presented the recommendations of the 4th meeting of the Sugar Advisory Board (SAB).

The ECC after detailed discussions on the recommendation of SAB, allowed 250,000 tons of sugar for export inclusive of the previously permitted 100,000 tons by the ECC, on a first-come-first-served basis. The ECC further decided that the total quantity of export may be distributed among provinces based on their installed crushing capacity, to be determined by PSMA.

Petroleum Division tabled a summary on liquidity requirement of the PSO for import of LNG and petroleum products into the country. It was submitted that PSO has been engaged in the import of LNG into the country to meet the deficit in gas demand and supply and is obliged to clear its financial obligations of supplier within stipulated period.

In order to enable the PSO to remain current in its payment obligations to LNG suppliers as well as to maintain LNG supply chain, the ECC allowed release of Rs10 billion budgeted subsidy to Petroleum Division and allowed the government guarantee against bank financing upto Rs50 billion.

The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination submitted a summary regarding transfer of amount to government of Afghanistan for functioning, maintenance, equipments and salaries of three Pakistani hospitals in Afghanistan.

The ECC after discussion, approved the revised mechanisms and modalities for transfer of funds to Afghanistan, as proposed by the Afghanistan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell (AICC) with the direction to attempt to release the amount in Pak rupees.

As per revised mechanism, the total amount already approved by the cabinet for salaries i.e. Rs1.009 billion would be transferred to Afghanistan in four tranches. These funds would be transferred through the ministry of foreign affairs and sent to Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul. The remaining three tranches would be transferred through banking channels to the embassy account opened for the purpose of disbursing salaries for doctors and other staff working in hospitals in Afghanistan constructed and operated by Pakistan.

The ECC further decided that dollar proceeds of exports will be recovered within sixty days of the LC opening. The Ministry of Industry and Production submitted a summary on the diversion of RLNG to Urea fertilizer plants upto 31st Jan, 2023. 

The ECC, after deliberation, decided to reject the proposal of Ministry of NFS&R and Ministry of I & P and decided that the RLNG supply to these plants would be discontinued with effect from midnight of 3rd January, 2023. The ECC deferred a summary submitted by the Ministry of Industries and Production tabled on price fixation of imported urea, with direction to work out and submit detailed mechanism for sharing of subsidy by provincial governments.

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The gold price in Pakistan today

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According to the All Sindh Sarafa Jewellers Association, the price of 10 grammes of 24 karat gold increased by Rs772 to Rs184,928 from Rs184,156, while the price of 10 grammes of 22 carat gold increased to Rs169,517 from Rs168,810.

These oscillations are strongly correlated with shifts in the US dollar’s value, demonstrating the complex interplay between gold prices and exchange rates.

This emphasises how local gold prices are impacted by events related to the global economy.

On the other hand, the cost of 24-karat silver was constant at Rs 2,570. Globally, too, the price of gold increased somewhat by $9 to $2,057 per ounce.

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Pakistan receives a $2 billion loan from China, according to the finance minister

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The $2 billion loan was one year ahead of schedule and became due in March. According to reports, Beijing had informed Islamabad of the decision.

The International Monetary Fund granted Pakistan’s cash-strapped economy a $3 billion standby arrangement last summer, but the country is still battling to recover from the financial crisis.

According to ratings firm Fitch, one of the top concerns confronting the next administration would be obtaining funding from bilateral and multilateral partners due to Pakistan’s precarious foreign situation, as was stated last week.

This event occurs one month after Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, the acting prime minister, asked for a $2 billion loan to be rolled over for a year in a letter to his Chinese counterpart.

In his letter, Kakar also expressed gratitude for China’s efforts to lessen Pakistan’s load

of foreign payments.

It is to be noted that Pakistan acquired safe deposits of $4 billion from China to address the balance of payments issue.

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“Ready to work with Pakistan’s new government,” the IMF said.

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In response to the former premier’s request, IMF Director of Communications Julie Kozak stated, “I’m not going to comment on ongoing political developments,” during a news conference.

She continued by saying that they “look forward to working on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan’s citizens with the new government.”

In addition to stating that the plan is “supporting the authority’s efforts to stabilise the economy and to, of course, with a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable,” Kozack said the lender increased the total disbursements under the Standby Arrangement (SBA) to $1.9 billion.

This has been accomplished by closely adhering to budgetary constraints and safeguarding the social safety net. In order to keep foreign exchange reserves growing and rein in inflation, a strict monetary policy stance has been maintained, the speaker stated.

The PTI founding chairman decided to write a letter to the international lender, asking it to demand an audit of the election held on February 8 before it proceeds with discussions with Islamabad for a new loan programme. This move prompted the IMF to release its statement.

In response to the former premier’s request, IMF Director of Communications Julie Kozak stated, “I’m not going to comment on ongoing political developments,” during a news conference.

She continued by saying that they “look forward to working on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan’s citizens with the new government.”

In addition to stating that the plan is “supporting the authority’s efforts to stabilise the economy and to, of course, with a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable,” Kozack said the lender increased the total disbursements under the Standby Arrangement (SBA) to $1.9 billion.

This has been accomplished by closely adhering to budgetary constraints and safeguarding the social safety net. In order to keep foreign exchange reserves growing and rein in inflation, a strict monetary policy stance has been maintained, the speaker stated.

The PTI founding chairman decided to write a letter to the international lender, asking it to demand an audit of the election held on February 8 before it proceeds with discussions with Islamabad for a new loan programme. This move prompted the IMF to release its statement.

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