ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin, chaired the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet.
Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister on Energy Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, Special Assistant to PM on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar, Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain, SA to PM on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, federal secretaries and senior officers attended the meeting.
ECC approved the request of the Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety Division regarding indexation policy for cash transfer and allowed BISP to adopt the institutional mechanism for periodic update of regular cash transfer benefits to Ehsaas Kafalat Beneficiaries of Benazir Income Support Program. The beneficiaries would receive additional cash of Rs166 per month due to indexation. The mechanism shall consist of a committee which the secretary finance division will chair. The other committee members would be the additional finance secretary, secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, Economic Advisor Finance Division, and one co-opted member for independent technical advice.
The terms of reference of the Committee would be to consider and recommend any update/adjustment of regular cash benefits of BISP, i.e. Ehsaas Kafalat Programme, for inflationary reasons within three years from last enhancement to the Federal Cabinet for approval. The Committee would also consider and approve any update/adjustment of cash transfers under BISP Programmes other than Ehsaas Kafalat Programme.
ECC approved the enhancement of Ehsaas Kifalat monthly stipend to the tune of Rs166 per beneficiary with effect from January 1, 2022.
ECC also approved the additional funds’ requirement of Rs75 million of the Ministry of Housing and Works regarding three development schemes. Technical Supplementary Grant amounting to Rs43 million in favour of the Ministry of Housing and Works was also approved.
ECC, in its meeting, allowed the Information and Broadcasting Division for re-appropriation of PSDP funds of Rs17.633 million through Technical Supplementary Grant. The Interior Ministry’s request for a Supplementary Technical Grant of Rs30 million was also approved. Similarly, the Technical Supplementary Grant request of the Ministry of Narcotics Control for Rs5 million, Science & Technology for Rs317 million and Establishment Division for Rs54 million was approved in the ECC Meeting. Arrears of contribution amounting to Rs3369.62 million on account of Group Insurance Fund by the Finance Division on behalf of the Federal Government Non-Gazetted (BS 1 to BS) employees was also approved.