You are currently viewing ECC allows pvt sector to import sugar from India (Video and Text)

ECC allows pvt sector to import sugar from India (Video and Text)

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has allowed the private sector here to import half a million tons of white sugar from India. 

Finance Minister Hammad Azhar, has further informed that from the month of June this year Pakistan would also import cotton from India.

Speaking about Eurobonds pitched by Pakistan, Hammad Azhar expressed satisfaction over the interest shown by the major world investors in the Eurobonds pitched by Pakistan.

According to him Pakistan very successfully had concluded its first ever three tranche capital market transaction yesterday with five, ten and thirty year Eurobonds at six percent, 7.375 and 8.875 percent.

The Finance Minister said the global investors have showed their confidence in Pakistan’s economy and future outlook.

According to details Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Hammad Azhar informed that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet had decided to import sugar and cotton from neighboring country, India to cater to the increasing local demands and check rising inflation.
Addressing a press conference after chairing the meeting of the cabinet committee, Hammad Azhar, who also holds portfolio of Minister of Industries an d Production, said since the prices of sugar had increased all over the world, hence making it impossible for Pakistan to import.
However, he said the sugar prices in the neighboring country, India were much lower compared to Pakistan, so the government decided to open sugar trade through private sector with India and import 0.5 million tons of the commodity.
He said the sugar imports from the neighboring country would help improve the supply position and help check increase of the commodity to benefit people.
The minister said the ECC also decided to import cotton from India to benefit small industry of the country. He said the cotton had high demand in Pakistan after surge in textile exports while there was also not a good cotton crop last year.
He said although the government had allowed cotton imports from the world but not from India, however it was affecting small industry which was unable to import the commodity from far off countries.
“On the proposal of Ministry of Commerce, we decided in ECC to allow cotton imports from India,” he added.
The minister said due to Covid-19, the world, including Pakistan witnessed surge in inflation, however, the government would make all efforts to mitigate its effects on people.
“I and my team have full realization of the fact,” he said adding the prices of ghee, sugar, and flour had gone up, however, we would try our best to check it and wherever necessary the provincial and federal governments would coordinate to control it.
The minister said after discussion with the prime minister, the government decided to decrease petrol price by Rs1.5 per liter and diesel by Rs3 per liter.
He said the ECC also fixed the minimum support price for wheat at Rs1,800, which he said would provide relief to farmer community.
He said a considerable success was made in raising the $2.5 billion Eurobonds, saying that against the $2.5 billion Eurobonds, the government received bids of $5 billion, showing over 100 percent subscription.
He said the country received better prices in a competitive environment as at the same time bonds were floated by other countries.
Talking about the performance of economy, the minister said his predecessors, including Asad Umar and Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh had done their best to put the economy on growth path.
He said various economic indicators were progressing positively as the country witnessed surplus primary balance whereas the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reserves also witnessed around $9 billion increase.
He said the rupee had also stood on its own grounds whereas the industry had also witnessed growth.
He said there were some sectors which were performing well and his ministry would continue where there were challenges; efforts would be made to overcome them.
He said the International Monetary Fund had also transferred the tranche worth $500 million to the SBP, making the reserves’ position better. He said the reserves would get more strengthened after inclusion of $2.5 billion raised through the bonds.
Replying to a question with respect to the autonomy being given to the central bank, the finance minister pointed out that an undue sensational environment was created about the issue as the SBP was already enjoying a lot of autonomy.
“We have just rationalized the previous Bill of the SBP,” he said adding the issue would be taken to the Parliament with open mind after having consultation with all stakeholders.
To another query, the minister said the country’s economic growth was on track and would achieve the revised gross domestic product growth target by the central bank of three percent, if situation of third wave of COVID remains in control.
Answering a question with respect to removal of Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh from the ministry, Hammad Azhar said there was no question on his capabilities and honesty. “During Hafeez Shaikh’s tenure, the country’s macro indicators moved from negative to positive direction and I would continue seeking guidelines from him in future,” he added.
The minister said the subsidized essential items during holy month of Ramazan would be provided in extra quantity at all Utility Stores outlets as the subsidy amount this year was much more compared to the past years.
Replying to a question about privatization of Pakistan Steels Mills, he said the bidding of the PSM would be floated during current year.

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.