On Wednesday, it is accepted by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to buy 400,000 tonnes of wheat and 200,000 tonnes of sugar and to spent Rs24.555 billion supplemental contribution for the obtainment of COVID-19 vaccine. Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin conducted the meeting to renounce the responsibilities of spray drones from China. Through the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), the ECC confirm the import of 200,000 tonnes of sugar with limited reserves of 600,000 to control the price increase. The conference mentioned that they have already imported 100,000 tonnes of sugar, but due to the high global prices, the figure of 200,000 tonnes has to be postponed as the world market sellers of sugar are selling it at a price of Rs 102-103 per kg.
The assistant of production and ministry explained to ECC that the reason behind the repudiation of the decision regarding the import of sugar was due to the high rates, and this was because of the COVID-19. He mentioned that the reason behind the higher rates is the increasing cost of the shipment and higher petroleum rates that are raising the cost of food items in the global market. The finance management determined to make a panel that will include the administrators from the law, financial affairs, commerce, and construction to have a consulting meeting and to layout an effective plan that can be implemented for the import of food commodities in an affordable range despite the high cost of import in the international market.
He asked the authorities to give their suggestions on how we can improve the import process by saving the cost and how to manage the process within the country import budget. He directed them to have a deep analysis and estimate where the high-cost risk is involved. He further directed them to make an ideal approximation for the import of each food category to have a proper record of how to manage requirements in a suitable manner.
The council administrated the authorities to plan for the import of leftover 300,000 tonnes of sugar with the great possible strategy so that the supply of sugar across the region can be ensured before the entrance of sugarcane season. On the other hand, ECC has also accepted the budget for the import of 200,000 tonnes of sugar. The conference on the advice of the Department of National Food Security and Research has accepted the plan of importing 400,000 tonnes for stocking purposes. Authorities are advised to look for ways on how to increase imports and how to manage the remaining export of wheat through government-to-government ordering. The ECC has stressed on the value on the value of having stocking plans in the light of the current situation in Afghanistan, which can have an impact on the cost in the National market.
The ECC has also accepted the approval of giving Rs24.555bn as a technical supplementary grant to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for the management to have COVID-19 vaccines for achieving the vaccination goal of about 85m persons. This funding has also included the charges of shipment and the cost of supervision. The ECC has also accepted the favor about the supply of flour and rice having the price of approximately Rs44.24m to Syria through the department of foreign affairs.
The department of National Food Security and Research has advised the ECC to abandon the taxes for contributing the support by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China for commanding the desert locust in the region. The authority has accepted the favor by excluding all the extra charges on the items. The authority has also accepted the budget of Rs2.376 for the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI). It has a goal to vaccinate children against 10 vaccine avoidable infections.