- ECC announces Rs2b relief package for Ramadan 2014, decides to lift ban on the import of gold and gold jewellery
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has approved Rs 2 billion Relief Package for Ramadan 2014.
The Utility Stores Corporation (USC), during last year’s relief package, provided subsidy of Rs 1.65 billion and this year it has proposed Rs 1.624 billion for the package. The ECC decided to approve Rs 2 billion for the relief package and the details of the relief on essential commodities will be submitted by the USC in the next ECC meeting for consideration.
The ECC of the Cabinet met Thursday under the chairmanship of the Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at the Prime Minister’s Office.
The committee decided to lift the ban on the import of gold and gold jewellery subject to the following conditions:
Firstly, imports under savings in any one-month period are restricted to a maximum of 10 kg per exporter.
Secondly, the penalty of default in export commitment is five percent of leviable duty under SRO 266, which is practically “Nil”, as customs duty and sales tax on import of gold is 0 percent. Therefore, import authorisation under the aforementioned savings clause is cancelled, if the exporter fails to honour the export commitment, within the stipulated timeframe.
Thirdly, all import authorisations issued previously under SRO 266 are cancelled for those exporters, who do not opt for fresh registration or fail to apply for new jewellery passbook with effect from May 15, 2014.
Fourthly, the maximum amount of gold imported under any single transaction should not exceed 10 kg.
Fifthly, the ban imposed under SRO 760 on the import of Gold, vide SRO 53(I)/2014 is lifted.
Sixthly, the ban on commercial import of gold imposed vide SRO 52(I)/2014, dated 24.1.2014 is lifted.
The ECC decided to withdraw SRO 15(I)/2010 which exempted cotton yarn import from custom duty of 5 percent in order to check import of cotton yarn which is increasing rapidly and the cotton yarn industry of Pakistan has started feeling the heat of extraordinary liberal tariff regime.
The ECC also decided to withdraw its earlier decision of providing the mechanism of joint expert mediation between SNGPL, Power Purchasers and IPPs namely Saif, Sapphire and Orient.
It may be mentioned that the three IPPs claimed Force Majeure Event (FME) under the respective Gas Supply Agreements (GSAs) from SNGPL, owing to its inability to supply gas to the projects due to rupture of one of its gas pipelines by terrorist activity during year 2011.
It was decided that since the IPPs are not willing to accept the out-of-scope collective mediation which is binding in nature, the dispute resolution mechanism of the respective Project Agreements may be followed.