ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) has imposed a ban on export of sugar and has directed the provinces to control prices of sugar as it is a provincial subject

The ECC meeting chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on Monday was given a briefing by the Ministry of Industries and Production on the current situation of sugar supply in the country.

The committee was informed that adequate stocks of sugar were available in the country but prices in both domestic and international market were showing an upward trend.

The ECC further directed that in case there was considerable decrease in available stock, the committee would reconsider the proposal for import of sugar as well as the removal of tariffs and taxes on the subject import.

A statement issued by the Finance Division after the meeting stated that the members of the ECC were all convinced that there were adequate stocks of sugar available in the country, and there was currently no compelling reason to import the commodity.

After the ECC was informed that there were 1.719 million tons of sugar stocks available with the mills, it directed the Ministry of Industries to talk to the provincial governments to control price of the commodity in the country as it was a provincial subject.

The ECC considered and approved the Technical Supplementary Grant for release of funds amounting to Rs3,300 million during the fiscal year 2019-2020 in respect of the project "Prime Minister's Special Package to Implement 'Skill for All' Strategy as Catalyst for TVET Sector Development in Pakistan".

The ECC also approved the continuation of funding facility to the Inter-State Gas System (ISGS).

The meeting decided that the loan agreement between ISGS and Government Power Holding Limited (GHPL) be approved for a period of one year.

The meeting decided that any extension thereafter be subject to progress on the undertaken projects and as soon as the first project reaches closure, the ISGS needs to become financially self-sustaining and after closure of the project it will also put forward a business plan how it will return the loan.