ISLAMABAD: The Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat on Monday.

The ECC considered and approved Special Ramadan Package worth Rs.1.75 billion for providing relief to the consumers in the Holy month this year’s compared to Rs.1.5 billion given last year.

The package will cover 22 essential items of use available at the Utility Store Corporation of Pakistan. The meeting was informed that as directed by the Prime Minister the USC was already providing concession on different items since April 27th which would also continue in Ramadan. The relief on different items ranges from Rs.4 to Rs 50.

It is pertinent to mention that overall USC will provide 5-10% discount on more than 1000 items for the month of Ramadan through arrangements with vendors or reducing its own profit margins.

ECC also approved grant of Tax Exemption under Gwadar Port Concession Agreement for Operation and Development of Gwadar Port. Tax Holiday shall be provided to the businesses to be established in the free zone for a period of 23 years.

ECC also granted approval for the allocation of 60MMCFD additional available gas from HRL (Habib Rahi limestone) Reservoir of Mari Gas to Thermal Power Station Guddu (TPSG) /GENCO- II. On this occasion Secretary Water and Power, Younus Dhaga, informed the Committee that as compared to May 2015, when the total power generation was 14100 MW, this year we have optimized generation and took it to 16300 MW in the current month.

The Finance Minister appreciated the efforts of the W&P Ministry in effectively dealing with energy crisis and said that we shall make available 10,000 additional MWs to the people by 2018 as promised by the PML-N in its manifesto.