Dar approves Rs 2.21bn incentive grant for provinces
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has approved Rs 2.21 billion incentive grant for immediate apportionment among the provinces for the October-December quarter of current fiscal year 2015-16.
As approved, Punjab will receive Rs 574.6 million, Sindh Rs 440.7 million, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rs 411.3 million, while Baluchistan’s share is Rs 787.9 million.
It may be recalled that the Council of Common Interest (CCI) on July 31, 2013, had decided that the provinces will be allowed rate of return on their surpluses at the rate of latest T-Bills rate, maintained for a minimum of three months.
In accordance with the decision, the incentive grant is released to the provinces on quarterly basis.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has directed the Ministry of Industries and Production to prepare a special Ramazan Package to facilitate the people. The minister in a statement on Sunday also directed that the recommendations of Special Ramazan Package be submitted to the Economic Coordination Committee within ten days. In this regard a letter has been sent to the Industries and Production secretary.
“Keeping in line with the present government’s past practice, the relief package would continue to be offered through the utility stores for facilitation of the general public in Ramazan,” said the minister.
A number of items, particularly those commonly used in Ramazan would be provided to the people at prices comparatively lower to rates prevalent in the open market, he added.
The government would ensure smooth supply of these commodities at the utility stores throughout the month, he remarked.
Separately, the minister has chaired a review session for an update on arrangements being undertaken for spectrum auction in the country.
The meeting was informed that arrangements were afoot for auction of 850 MHz out of the available spectrum in the first phase which would be followed by auction of 1,800 MHz in the second phase.
The meeting noted that in line with the instructions given by the finance minister, steps were being taken to ensure that this process is executed with complete transparency. It was further informed that an appropriate amount of spectrum would eventually enhance the evolving requirement of international quality data services for Pakistani consumers.
All relevant stakeholders, including IT Ministry, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) apprised the meeting that they were working in unison to conclude remaining procedural measures so that the auction process could be held in an organised and transparent manner.
Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid, State Minister IT Anusha Rehman, Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Law Barrister Zafarullah and senior officials of IT Ministry, Finance Ministry, PTA and FAB attended the meeting.