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ECC decides to import 500,000 Metric tons wheat
The Pakistan Newswire, December 16, 2003
The Economic Coordinationtons wheat to build wheat reserves, stabilize prices, pre-empt hoarding and speculative tendencies in the country. The ECC meeting which was held here under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, authorized PASSCO to import 500,000 metric tons wheat through open international tenders. It also decided to establish monitoring committee under the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Livestock to monitor its supplies and imports to ensure transparency in this regard. To encourage modernization of Railways and to make it cost effective, the ECC decided to reduce customs duty from existing 10 percent to 5 percent on import of locomotives and railway wagons in CKD or CBU condition.For encouraging education through satellite communications,he ECC decided to make transponders in Paksat-I available free of charge to the Pakistan Education Research Network. In order to make export industries even more competitive by reducing their upfront costs of energy, ECC also approved allocation of gas for self-generation of power to industries having 70 percent export target for their production or having sizeable foreign investment.However, the gas would be supplied to the companies as and when available and on the condition that the requirements of WAPDA and KESC would be given first preference. These companies will be allocated gas for self-generation on the recommendation of Board of Investment and Export Promotion Bureau.The measure is a long-standing demand of industry and will improve competitiveness and reduce cost of production. To ensure continued gas supply to various consumers during the peak winter months, the ECC also considered gas supply and Demand Management Programme for the year 2003-4. For making Habib Bank Limited attractive for privatization, the ECC approved issuance of bonds amounting to Rs.9.840 billion against income tax refunds due to the Habib Bank Limited. To remove anomalies and to make soap industry a viable commercial venture, the ECC agreed to extend the rate of 10 percent customs duty on palm stearin for the toilet soap manufacturers subject to the same conditions as are applicable in respect of the oleo-chemical/stearic acid industry. These conditions require availability of in-house manufacturing facility and determination of requisite quantity of raw materials on the basis of a survey to be conducted by the Central Board of Revenues. For further encouraging construction and housing industry, to stabilize prices of steel and to bridge the demand gap of 0.5 million metric tons steel billets, the ECC allowed Pakistan Steel Mills to import billets to increase their supply for manufacture of MS products. The customs duty on imported billets will be reduced from 20 to 10 percent for all importers, providing a level playing field to public and private sector. The ECC noted that equity based investment abroad by resident Pakistanis as a result of liberalized economy and deregulated control over foreign exchange from July to September 2003 by six firms was to the tune of US $ 3.353 million.
MGR Archive 18.12.2003
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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