Pakistan will not go for commercial loans’ refinancing, Shaikh tells ECC

Staff Reporter

APP31-20 ISLAMABAD: May 20 - Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chairing meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet. APP

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh stated unequivocally on Wednesday that Pakistan had no intention of seeking any kind of relief for repayment of its commercial loans or borrowings. “Pakistan has the means and will to honor its commercial commitments,” the advisor said while chairing the meeting of Chairman Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet here. The committee approved in principal to allow Economic Affairs Division (EAD) to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for availing the G-20 relief initiative. However, this would be subject to the approval of the Cabinet. Pakistan is required to enter into this MoU with all official bilateral creditors including Paris Club creditors to implement the debt relief initiative of G-20. Meanwhile, the ECC also approved various technical supplementary including Rs. 360.515 million for the repair and maintenance of Supreme Court of Pakistan Buildings in Islamabad and various cities; Rs3.836 billion in favor of Ministry of Housing and Works to execute development schemes in the Sindh Province and Rs. 291 million in favor of Ministry of Housing and Works/ Pak. PWD for payment of salary of maintenance staff of Pak. PWD. On the recommendations of the Committee formed under the Chairmanship of Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms and Austerity and comprising Secretary Finance Division and Secretary Power Division to look into the issues of servicing of power sector loans and stock handling in a holistic manner, ECC allowed allocation of Rs.10 billion from Stimulus Package as a stop gap arrangement for the payment of interest on the Pakistan Energy Sukuk-II for a period of six months or amendment in NEPRA Act whichever is earlier. ECC also approved the proposal of the Revenue Division for declaration of multi-modal transit hub Jia Bagga NLC Transit Port as Customs Clearance port under Section 9 of the Customs Act 1969. In order to reduce the capacity charges of power generation companies through synthetic financing, ECC approved the ToRs for negotiations with IPPs/Gencos as recommended by a committee constituted by the CCOE vide its decision dated April 2nd 2020 under the Chairmanship of Minister for Power and comprising SAPM on Mineral Resources, Secretary Finance Division, Secretary Power and Secretary Law and Justice Division, The committee will submit its report in due course, the statement added. In order to manage and operate the Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund 2020, ECC approved the constitution of the Policy Committee under the chairmanship of Prime Minister of Pakistan. The 8 member committee would comprise of members including Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives; Adviser to PM on Finance and Revenue; Adviser to PM on Commerce and Investment; SA PM on Poverty alleviation and social safety; Prime Minister’s Focal person for Corona Philanthropy Drive, Secretary Finance Division while Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety would be secretary of the committee. Terms of reference for the proposed committee would be 1) to decide on the appropriate usage of the proceeds deposited in the fund including means of identification of the beneficiaries of the fund and the parameters of their selection.