ECC okays $150mn for buying corona vaccine

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal cabinet has approved, in principle, a technical supplementary grant of $150 million for purchase of Covid-19 vaccine.
The approval was given at a meeting of the ECC, chaired by Adviser on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Friday.
The meeting was informed that it will be the first phase of procurement and the amount of vaccine will suffice for the most vulnerable five percent of the population which are health workers and the population above the age of 65 years. It was briefed that around 10 million people would be provided a vaccine cover under the above arrangement.
The committee further directed the Ministry of National Health Services to discuss the proposal with World Bank and other donors in coordination with the Economic Affairs Division so that they could assist in providing financial facility for the procurement of the vaccine during the first phase.
The forum also directed the Ministry of National Health Services to draw a holistic proposal regarding the pricing and risk mitigation mechanism for the procurement of the Covid-19 vaccine for provision on a wider scale, in consultation with the relevant stakeholders.
The ECC approved the request of the Economic Affairs Division to proceed with the formal request for availing the G-20 debt relief for the extended period i.e. January-June 2021. The approval of the federal cabinet would be required for signing of the bilateral debt service suspension agreements.
The ECC also approved two technical supplementary grants for initiating the process of retrenchment of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) employees for an amount over Rs19.6 billion and Prime Minister’s special package to implement Skills for All strategy as catalyst for TVET sector development in Pakistan for Rs500 million.
The ECC also approved the proposal by the Ministry of Energy/ Petroleum Division for the allocation of 2.25 MMCFD gas from Umair -1 to M/s OGDCL for sale to M/s Engro at a mutually agreed and negotiated price, under a Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement subject to initiation of Field Development Plan and Development and Production Lease.
Over Rs689 million were also approved as budget re-appropriation for National Information Technology Board for fulfilling its various requirements during the meeting.
The ECC was also briefed on the status of wheat import through Trade Corporation of Pakistan. The Ministry of National Food Security and Research briefed the forum on the provision of additional 340,000 MT of Wheat, a tender was floated on 11-10-2020; the bids were opened on 18-10-2020 and the lowest bid was accepted. The total quantity to be imported is now 2.248 MMT.
Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar, Adviser to the PM on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Ishrat Hussain, SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar and SAPM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood also participated in the meeting. – TLTP

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