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ECC waives 10pc duty on wheat import

22 May, 2008

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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, which met here on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, waived 10 per cent import duty on wheat.

The meeting also decided to import one million tonnes of wheat before Ramazan out of total expected import of 2.5 million tonnes in the next fiscal year. The meeting also decided to maintain ban on wheat export for a couple of more months. The meeting also directed the FBR and other law-enforcement agencies to increase vigilance to curb the smuggling of the commodity.

The ECC decided to import one million tonnes of wheat immediately as the prices of red wheat are declining in the international market. The meeting also noticed that the FBR was charging customs duty on wheat, which helped the tax authorities to bring a few billion more revenue into the national kitty.

FBR Chairman Abdullah Yousuf told media after the ECC meeting that the tax authorities have collected Rs4 billion through customs duty on wheat so far in the current fiscal year 2007-08. The ECC, he said, has waived 10 per cent customs duty, which will be implemented immediately, he added.

However, sources said it was pointed out during the meeting that new consignments of the imported wheat were expected to reach Pakistan in coming weeks so there was a dire need to waive the customs duty with immediate effect.

The ECC also reviewed the price situation in the domestic market and noted that prices of some food items are registering an increasing trend. The ECC asked the secretaries committee working under the finance minister to work out practical steps to control the rising inflationary pressure.

The ECC also reviewed the procurement of wheat in the current season and asked authorities concerned to accomplish the task within the stipulated timeframe. The ECC also approved payment of compensation of $1 million to the firm handling Gwadar port.

End.

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