Legal mechanism cleared for barter trade with sanctions-hit Iran, Afghanistan

barter trade

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Thursday allowed regulatory cover to barter trade arrangements with Afghanistan and Iran.

According to an official statement, the meeting took up a commerce ministry’s summary for ‘grant of regulatory support for establishing barter trade arrangements with Afghanistan and Iran’ and, after discussions, “allowed regulatory cover to barter trade arrangements by amending relevant provisions of Export Policy Order (EPO) 2020 and Import Policy Order (IPO) 2020”.

Morover, federal cabinet’s ECC decided to build 500,000 tonnes of strategic reserves of sugar and lift 1.2 million tonnes of wheat at a minimum support price of Rs 1,950 per 40kg amounting to Rs 65 billion.

Accordingly, the federal government would purchase 0.30 million metric ton sugar and provincial governments of Punjab and  Sindh would purchase 0.20 million metric tons of sugar for strategic reserves from sugar mills in current crop year when the prices are lower in the local market.

Read more: Fertilizer sector subsidy ineffective to control commodity prices: study

The ECC after discussion allowed the continuation of subsidy on five essential items for the period from 24 to 28 of February 2022 and for the month of March 2022.

The ECC will also endorse specialized supplementary grants of Rs 450 million to the National Institute of Health, Rs 200 million to the Housing and Works Department, Rs 20 million to the Sindh Economic Development Plan, Rs 684 million to the National Identification System, and a cash development loan grant to Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation.

The federal cabinet’s ECC has set new rates for naswar, hookah, and other tobacco products.

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research presented ideas for tobacco Minimum Indicative Prices (MID) during the meeting.

After careful consideration, the ECC authorized the following MIP for various types of tobacco crops for the year 2022, which will be forwarded to the federal cabinet for approval.

Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) will now cost Rs 240 per kilogramme in the plains and Rs 281.13 per kilogramme in the sub-mountainous areas.

The committee increased the price of Dark Air-Cured Tobacco (DAC) to Rs 149.09 per kilogramme and the price of White Patta to Rs 123 per kilogramme. Burley will be priced at Rs 187.5 per kilogramme, while Naswar, Snuff, Hookah, and other Rustica tobacco and products would be priced at Rs 123 per kilogramme.

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