Home Latest News ECC Approves Rs. 12bn for NDMA to Prepare for Future Disasters

ECC Approves Rs. 12bn for NDMA to Prepare for Future Disasters

Cabinet body also validates increase in prices of 49 medicines, noting their rates are significantly lower in Pakistan than regional neighbors

by Staff Report

Photo courtesy PID

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Monday approved the release of Rs. 12 billion to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for the procurement of relief items to replenish its reserves ahead of any potential natural disaster.

Chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, the meeting stressed on the need for the NDMA to be prepared to respond to any impending disaster in the near future. The cabinet body also approved a summary of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination to increase the prices of 49 medicines, noting their cost in Pakistan was significantly lower than their regional prices. Most of these medicines, it said, were being introduced in Pakistan for the first time at prices considerably lower than in neighboring nations.

Additionally, the ECC approved a supplementary grant of Rs. 402.251 billion for debt servicing on Chinese and Saudi loans to counter fluctuations in the exchange rate, as last year’s budget had envisaged it at Rs. 186 to the U.S. dollar compared to the actual average of Rs. 235 against the U.S. dollar. It also approve the issuance of a Government of Pakistan guarantee of Rs. 9.5 billion for the construction of the Hyderabad-Sukkur motorway on a build-operate-transfer basis.

The ECC also approved supplementary and technical supplementary grants for 15 other projects, including for the New Gwadar International Airport, construction of security checkposts, formation of a new battalion to combat smuggling, and the disbursement of financial assistance for the families of those martyred and injured in a recent Swat terrorism incident.

Apart from the finance minister, the ECC meeting was also attended by Industries and Production Minister Syed Murtaza Mahmud; MNA Shahid Khaqan Abbasi; Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha; Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik; Special Assistant to the P.M. (SAPM) on Finance Tariq Bajwa; SAPM on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha; and relevant federal secretaries and other senior officers.

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