ECC Principally Approves Waiver of Taxes for the Telecom Sector

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet has approved a waiver of certain taxes for the telecom sector.

In order to facilitate the telecom sector with a waiver of certain taxes, the ECC in its meeting under the chairmanship of Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has decided that the proposal may be granted approval in principle.

ECC further directed that a subcommittee may be constituted, consisting of Adviser to the PM on Revenue, Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms & Austerity, Minister for Industries & production and Adviser Commerce, to prepare a modified proposal in view of the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) response for final approval.

ECC also approved the Technical Supplementary Grant of Rs. 109.47 million to the Ministry of Defense for the survey of the coastal areas. The amount was surrendered by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs as the Pakistan Army has offered to assist in the survey.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs also presented another summary for the waiver of demurrage charges on Afghan Transit Cargo and Afghan bound containers stranded at Karachi ports. Earlier the government had decided to ask the terminal operators to waive 75 percent of the demurrage charges on Afghan Transit containers and cargo landing at ports from March 22 to September 30 (Covid-19 period), including a refund of demurrage charges already recovered from such importers of Afghan bound transit container and cargoes.

The Minister for Maritime Affairs advised terminal operators (TOs) to approach their principals for approval of demurrage charges by October 5, 2020. After the TOs showed their inability to accede to the Ministry’s request, the matter was brought to the ECC for guidance. ECC directed that the same committee that has been engaged with the terminal operators should again negotiate with the operators to reach an amicable solution to the issue.

ECC also approved the summary moved by the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) for the allocation of another 38 MMCFD gas from 3 new wells REHMAN 6, 7 and 8 to M/S SSGCL, subject to all regulatory approvals. The price of gas will be as per the applicable petroleum policy. The gas will be provided as per availability in the winter months.

The committee also granted approval for the renewal of the contract with TAVANIR Iran for the purchase of 104MW of electricity subject to vetting by the Ministry of Law & Justice. The contract, if approved by the Ministry of Law and Justice, will be valid till 31st December 2021.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Railways, SAPM on Petroleum, Adviser Commerce, Adviser to PM on Revenue and Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms and Austerity.

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