Asad Umar chairs Economic Coordination Committee meeting

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar chaired meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) on Tuesday.

The meeting considered and approved proposals presented by different ministries. Ministry of Industries and Production presented to the ECC an update on the current status of NAB cases regarding Pakistan Steel Mills. ECC expressed concern on the slow progress of the cases and directed that the cases be actively pursued.

ECC further directed that a case be initiated for placement of names of personnel under investigation in different cases on ECL. ECC considered and approved proposal of Commerce Division for amendments in the Import Policy Order 2016, further beefing up existing labeling requirements for import of edible, specially halal products.

The step would ensure clarity on ingredients of the imported products in Urdu language for benefit of the consumers. Ministry of National Food Security and Research apprised ECC about demand and supply situation of Urea and DAP fertilizers in the country.

ECC directed for continued operation of the two urea plants beyond the month of February till October to ensure sufficient supply/stock of the fertilizer; Ministry of Industry would accordingly submit proposal to the ECC on operation of the plants.

A review of the fertilizer stocks in the country would be taken in August for necessary course correction, if needed. FBR shared with the ECC a report, highlighting the current position of auction of abandoned containers / lots and also elaborating the procedures for clearance / disposal of consignments at ports along with the challenges faced in the process.

ECC while laying emphasis on simplification of procedures and promotion of e-clearance, directed formation of a Committee headed by Minister for Maritime Affairs to prepare proposals for prompt and efficient cargo clearance (both containers and vehicles) at the ports to reduce the port congestion and improving ease of doing business.

The Committee would share its proposals with ECC in two weeks. The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP&HRD) briefed the ECC about the current position of manpower export to different countries and efforts for seeking employment opportunities in international labour market including the gulf countries.

The Ministry of Federal Education & Professional training informed the ECC that it had a data bank of over 600,000 skilled manpower, who have graduated from the NAVTCC platform. ECC directed for constitution of an Inter-ministerial Task Force with OP&HRD as lead Ministry, for formulating concrete proposals with clear targets on development and export of manpower.

The meeting laid emphasis on skill development, standardization and accreditation of technical training, information sharing, connectivity between websites of NAVTCC and OP&HRD, particularly on opportunities abroad for benefit of employment seekers.

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