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ECC lifts ban on import of 860 luxury items, ends third-party access to new LNG Terminals to attract investment

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet (ECC) on Friday lifted ban on the import of 860 luxury items.

The committee also approved the summary of the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) about amendments in LNG policy 2011 for exemption from mandatory Third-Party-Access (TPA) to new LNG Terminals.

The ECC, which met on Friday under the leadership of Finance Minister Miftah Ismail approved the recommendation of the Ministry of Commerce on prohibition/complete quantitative restrictions on import of non-essential and luxury items. It was submitted that a ban was imposed on import of about 33 classes/categories of goods covering more than 860 products/tariff lines on 19th May, 2022.

Owing to serious concerns raised by trading partners on the imposition of ban and considering the fact that the ban has impacted supply chains and domestic retail industry, the ECC decided that ban may be lifted on all the items. Further the ECC recommended release of those held up consignments arrived after 30th June up to 31st July, 2022 with payment of surcharge.

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mr. Miftah Ismail presided over the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet at Finance Division today.

Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Industries & production Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mehmood, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr. Aisha Ghous Pasha, Coordinator to the PM on economy Mr. Bilal Azhar Kayani, Coordinator to PM on Commerce & Industry Rana Ihsan Afzal, Chairman FBR, Chairman OGRA, Federal Secretaries and senior officers attended the meeting.

Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) submitted a summary on amendments in LNG policy 2011 for exemption from mandatory Third-Party-Access (TPA) to new LNG Terminals. It was argued that the gap between gas supply and demand in the country is widening resulting in gas load management affecting economic activities. Under the circumstances and to diversify the LNG import infrastructure, there is a need to support and encourage foreign/private investment in the new LNG terminals at their own costs and risks to meet the growing demand of RLNG in the country. Considering the objectives of attracting investment in LNG import terminal facilities, the ECC approved the proposal to exclude new LNG terminals and associated facilities from application of TPA and allowed amendment in article 6.2(a) of LNG policy, 2011.

On a summary submitted by Ministry of National Food Security & Research on allocation of 300,000 MT of wheat for Utility Stores Corporation (USC), the ECC directed Ministry of National Food Security & Research for resubmission of summary after incorporating complete details of incidental charges and comments of Finance Division.

Javed Mahmood
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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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