ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet scaled down on Monday the ‘Ramazan Special Package’ to Rs1.75 billion from the Rs3bn allocated in the federal budget.
According to an official statement, a meeting of the ECC presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar approved Rs1.75bn for providing relief to consumers in the holy month as compared to Rs1.5bn given last year.
This is, however, in contrast to budgetary documents laid before parliament. The ‘budget in brief’ provided to parliamentarians in June last year had put the Special Ramazan Package to be spent through the Utility Stores Corporation at Rs3bn during 2014-15 and set the same amount for 2015-16. Both the amounts were approved by parliament.
The package will cover 22 essential items available at USC outlets.
The meeting was informed that the USC was already providing concession on different items since April 27 which would continue in Ramazan.
The relief on different items would range from Rs4 to Rs50. The USC will provide 5-10 per cent discount on more than 1,000 items through arrangements with vendors or reducing its own profit.
The ECC also approved grant of tax exemption under the Gwadar Port Concession Agreement for Operation and Development of Gwadar Port.
The tax holiday shall be provided to the businesses to be established in the free zone for a period of 23 years.
The meeting okayed allocation of 60MMCFD (million cubic feet per day) of additional gas available from Habib Rahi Limestone Reservoir of Mari Gas to Thermal Power Station Guddu, commonly known as Genco-II.
Water and Power Secretary Younus Dhaga briefed the committee on the latest power supply situation as temperatures rose in the country.
He said that as compared to May last year when power generation was 14,100MW, this year generation had been optimised and taken to 16,300MW in the current month, which was the highest-ever production in the month of May.
The finance minister said the government would make available 10,000 additional megawatts to the people by 2018 as promised by the PML-N in its manifesto.