ECC to approve extension in govt guarantee

Guarantee for Rs2.1b loan given to Telephone Industries may be extended by two years


Zafar Bhutta June 02, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) is likely to approve an extension in government guarantee by two years for a loan of Rs2.1 billion given to Telephone Industries of Pakistan by the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication is seeking extension in the loan repayment period for two years.

Earlier, the ECC, while reviewing a summary submitted by the IT ministry, constituted a committee to evaluate the proposal and make recommendations.

The sub-committee met under the chairmanship of IT and telecom minister and discussed many proposals.

It was proposed that government’s sovereign guarantee for Telephone Industries of Pakistan should be extended for a further period of two years from September 16, 2019 to September 15, 2021.

Read more: ECC approves deal with K-Electric

The committee was of the view that the government, being the guarantor, should consider extending the Rs2.1 billion loan payment period for a smooth implementation of the revival plan.

It held threadbare discussions on both the proposals and met with a representative of the Finance Division. It recommended extension in guarantee for the loan, acquired by Telephone Industries of Pakistan from the NBP, for two years till September 15, 2021.

The Finance Division representative made certain observations, saying that the two-year period for which sovereign guarantee was required to be extended had already elapsed.

Grant for AJK

The government of Pakistan has been providing subsidy for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and has allocated Rs7.5 billion in the current fiscal year.

The AJK government had requested for a grant of Rs1.7 billion for food subsidy. The Finance Division examined the request and agreed on an annual grant amounting to Rs1.5 billion for the food subsidy.

In this regard, the ECC’s approval has been sought to earmark funds for the provision of subsidy to AJK.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2021.

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