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Two months payment for PSM workers

08 May, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has accorded approval for payment of two months’ salaries to the employees of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), amounting to Rs 858 million.

The ECC meeting, held at the Prime Minister’s House on Saturday with Finance Minister Ishqa Dar, in the chair, also allowed WAPDA to raise a loan of Rs 25 billion from local banks under the sovereign guarantee of the government of Pakistan for making payment of arrears for Net Hydel Profits (NHP) to the Khyber Pakhtunkhua (KP) government during the current fiscal year 2015-16.

A total amount of Rs 70 billion was settled between the federal and the KP government on account of uncapped NHP as full and final settlement of the claims. The amount will be paid in four tranches comprising Rs 25 billion in the current financial year and Rs 15 billion every year for the next three years.

The ECC also extended the date for reduced rate of Withholding Tax on banking transactions at four percent on non-filers until May 31 under section 236p of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001.

On a proposal made by Ministry of Water and Power for providing ‘fiscal incentives for promotion of energy efficiency and conservation’, the chair directed that such proposals could only be entertained through the finance bill. He further desired that Ministry of Industries, Climate Change, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Ministry of Water and Power should bring forward a joint proposal to be introduced through the finance bill in this respect.

The committee also approved extension in the period of Export Processing Zone status of Duddar project. The extension will now be available until January 14, 2035, and will facilitate promotion of foreign investment of the project.

The recommendation for the extension in this period was given by a special committee formed under the chairmanship of special assistant to prime minister on law. The ECC also gave approval for the revision of margins of oil marketing companies (OMCs) and dealers on petroleum products. According to the recommendation of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, the margins are now linked to CPI. The increase in the margins includes six paisas for MS Petrol and HSD for the OMCs; eight paisas for MS Petrol and seven paisas on HSD for the dealers. The new margins will be applicable with effect from July 1.

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