Govt approves move for wheat purchase from Russia

The federal government on Monday approved perhaps its first purchase of wheat from Russia after the European nation broke off a United Nations-led treaty on supply of the essential grain.

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This and other key decisions were undertaken during the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Federal Cabinet at the Finance Divison on Monday.

The meeting was presided by Federal Federal Minister Senator Ishaq Dar. Federal ministers of Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, MNA Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Finance Tariq Bajwa, SAPM on Revenue Tariq Pasha, Federal Secretaries, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman and other senior officers attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the commerce ministry presented a summary for the procurement of wheat from Russia on government-to-government (G2G) basis on an offer submitted by Russian state-owned enterprise Prodintorg.

According to the proposal, Prodintorg will supply around 300,000 metric ton of specified milling wheat at a rate of $372 per metric ton.

The wheat will be supplied between November 1, 2022, and January 15, 2023.

After deliberation, the ECC approved the summary.

OMC margins

Another item on the agenda was a summary by the power division at the energy ministry for revising the margins of oil marketing companies (OMCs) on petroleum products.

After a comprehensive discussion, the ECC approved the summary in-principle to revise the margins at the agreed sum of Rs6 per liter.

However, the government decided to condition its implementation to fiscal space in the prices of petroleum products.

Thar coal

The energy ministry – petroleum division – presented another summary for amendment in the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for commissioning of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)– TCB – I (On Thar Coal) without financial close.

The summary presented that that project is 90% complete but the company was unable to achieve financial close due to unforeseen events and reasons which led to delay in Sinosure and lenders approvals.

Therefore, request was made to consider and permit effectiveness of the PPA from the date of its execution i.e. August 27, 2019, and authorize CPPA to amend the PPA accordingly.

The ECC after deliberation approved the summary and added that it must be ensured that there will be no impact on tariff through this decision and that the summary was being approved due to exceptional situation.

Ministry of Energy (Power Division) presented another summary on Pakistan Energy Revolving Fund (PERF). The ECC after deliberation approved opening of an assignment account under the title of Pakistan Energy Revolving Fund (PERF) to be opened with SBP Islamabad and operated by CPPA.

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