Participants in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) long march would face harsh punishment, and the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Monday authorised an initial budget of more than Rs410 million and approved the decision to supply exporters affordable electricity.
The ECC resolved during a meeting headed over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to first try to persuade Sindh to reconsider its decision to set the support price at Rs4,000 per 40 kilogrammes.
In two separate reports, the Interior Ministry requested funds from the ECC to deal with the PTI’s extended march. The ECC authorised an additional grant of Rs410.2 million in favour of the Ministry of Interior for expenses related to peace and order, according to the Finance Ministry.
The cost of preparing to deal with the protestors was estimated to be Rs 410.2 million, which included the deployment of a 30,000-strong force, their meals, transportation, anti-riot gear, and surveillance of the protestors.
The ECC was informed that 30,000 out-of-district law enforcement personnel had been requisitioned to perform special security duties in the Islamabad Capital Territory in order to preserve law and order and provide necessary security measures.
The ECC approved spending Rs. 259 million on car and container rentals, Rs. 35 million on food, Rs. 31.2 million on fuel, and Rs. 18 million on anti-riot equipment. A total of Rs64.4 million has been granted for the purchase and installation of surveillance cameras and other related equipment, plus additional Rs2.5 million for five days of housing for this team.
The PTI has announced a demonstration that will take the form of a long march from several locations towards Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital. PTI Chairman Imran Khan has not yet set a specific date for the long march, but he has urged his party members to prepare for mobilisation.
In the face of a slowing economy, the ECC approved the continuation of the regionally competitive power rate for export-oriented companies for the remainder of the fiscal year in order to retain exports and keep export-oriented sectors globally competitive.
The ECC agreed, according to the Finance Ministry, that these segmentors might obtain power for Rs9.99 per unit, all-inclusive. The package would also be offered to Pakistan’s five export-oriented industries, including jute, leather, surgical, and sporting goods, from October 1 to June 30, 2023.
The federal cabinet had approved the provision of cheaper gas until June of the next year, but the decision was later reversed due to IMF worries about the subsidy’s lack of budgetary basis. However, finance minister Ishaq Dar confirmed last week that the subsidy scheme will be revived.
The ECC approved a financial commitment to pay the cost of the subsidies until June of the following year, as well as approval to pay the Rs. 33 billion in outstanding liabilities. Separately, the Power Division will file a report to request the supplemental grant for exporters.
The ECC postponed a previously scheduled summary in order to identify a profitable price for the farmers’ next wheat crop. However.
The provincial cabinets of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have already agreed on a support price of Rs3,000 per 40 kg wheat. The Baloch administration has not yet fixed pricing, while the Sindh cabinet has set a support price of Rs 4,000 every 40 kg.
Sindh’s Chief Minister called a meeting with a Cabinet Committee to consider the MSP, but no resolution was reached. Setting the wheat support price at Rs. 4,000, according to the federal government, would significantly increase inflation, making it impossible for Passco to purchase wheat from Sindh, and encourage other provinces to apply wheat import and export restrictions.
Growers and middlemen will leverage pricing discrepancies among provinces to disrupt the market, and hoarding and smuggling are likely. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the average local wheat price is Rs2,776.
According to statistics supplied to the ECC, the inflation rate would rise by 1.27 percent if the minimum support price was set at Rs 3, and by 2.9% if the price was set at Rs 4. The Food Ministry has proposed a price of Rs. 3,00, which would result in a 20% profit margin, or Rs. 3,200, which would result in a 28% profit margin.
The Food Ministry also presented a summary for the utilisation of the Gwadar port as well as a reform of the process used by the pre-shipment inspection agency. The ECC was advised that the higher price in the few offers received in the tender dated September 26, 2022 was due to increased risks caused by changes to the inspection regime and port.
The ECC agreed to the request that both TCP tender inspection changes be temporarily abandoned due to the higher cost of wheat import associated with the two proposals. TCP/Ministry of Commerce, on the other hand, should guarantee pre-shipment inspection at the loading port by the top four inspection firms. TCP was also directed to issue new tenders in order to ensure the import of the specified volume of wheat.