According to a press release by the Finance Division of the Government of Pakistan on Monday, the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shiekh convened a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) division of the cabinet. 

The press release stated that the meeting was attended by Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, SAPM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Baber and Advisor to the PM for Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain attended the meeting. Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr Reza Baqir also participated through video link.

The ECC approved a sum of Rs.53 million to the National Information Technology Board for the Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan Programme for FY/2020-21 in order to prove information and communication services to the programme. The Kamyab Jawan Programme is a youth entrepreneurship scheme aimed at providing loans to new youth-led startups. The funds were requested by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication.

In response to a summary by the IT Ministry regarding the manufacturing of SIMs/Smart-cards in Pakistan the Advisor to the PM directed to constitute a Committee to examine the proposal and present a report for a way forward within two weeks. The Committee would be chaired by the Minister of Industries and Production Hammad Azhar and would include representatives from the Ministry of IT & Telecom., FBR and Board of Investment (BOI).

Furthermore, the ECC recommended forming a committee consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) to decide a timeline for export of Mango and Kinnow as deemed after due consultation with the stakeholders.

Lastly, a summary was presented by Aviation Division before ECC regarding Government of Pakistan cash support for the Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS). The committee decided to approve the voluntary separation from service scheme for PIA. 

The VSS is a restructural programme for the PIA which aims to gives employee’s an option to leave the organization with a golden-handshake. All regular PIA employees under the age of 60 will be eligible for the scheme. A spokesman for the PIA said: “It is part of PIA’s restructuring. We are trying to adhere to the restructuring of the airline which will benefit the workers.”

ECC also approved four separate Technical Supplementary Grants for the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior for various projects during current FY 2020-21. 

Hamza Habib is a senior journalist and former editor of who has previously worked for leading newspapers and TV networks of the country. He mainly writes on the economy and political issues.


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