Board concerned over delay in release of funds

Islamabad: 59th Meeting of the Board of Administrators of Export Development Fund (EDF) was held under the Chairmanship of Senior Minister for Commerce, Mr. Makhdoom Amin Fahim today. Secretary Commerce, Mr. Zafar Mehmood was also present at the meeting. There were 23 agenda items for the meetings. The board expressed its concerns over delay in the release of funds from Ministry of Finance and agreed that instead of going into the consolidated fund, the funds should be given directly to the board. The board also agreed to take up the matter with the Prime Minister. The board was informed that EDF has Rs. 168 million for first quarter.

A decision to release the outstanding Rs. 800 million claims under Freight Subsidy Scheme was made. The board was informed that this liability has been pending since 2007 and agreed that this amount be sanctioned in three instalments of Rs. 250 million, Rs. 250 million, and Rs. 300 million, respectively.

The Board also agreed to release funds for the development of Chambers of Commerce and in this respect Rs. 50 Million was sanctioned for the construction of Federal Chamber of Commerce building in Islamabad. The cost of this building is estimated to be Rs. 100 million. 50% (Rs. 50 million) will be contributed by EDF and the rest of 50% would be generated by FCCI. Rs. 19.94 million were sanctioned to Tribal Area Chamber of Commerce. Rs. 4.90 million were sanctioned to Dera Ismail Khan Chamber of Commerce for establishment of chamber of commerce.

One of the major objectives of EDF is to fund for the development of training institutes in order to develop human resource in the country and in this connection funding was made to various training institutes. Rs. 30 million was approved for Pakistan Institute of Fashion Designing. The board was informed that the institute is playing a very important role and a new setup has been established in Peshawar. A report has been demanded on the National Institute of Leather Technology (NILT). The board agreed that this is a very important institute and a full working needs to be done to revive it. For this purpose, a grant of Rs. 5 million has been sanctioned at first stage to meet the current expenses and a full report has been demanded in one month’s time. Rs. 31 million has been approved for Readymade Garments Display Centre in Sialkot and similarly, a project of Sportswear Institute in Sialkot has also come under discussion. Funding of Rs. 10 million has been agreed upon for establishment of Garment Technology Centre in Karachi. This project is being set up with Korean collaboration.

For the promotion of handicraft industry Rs. 50 million have been given to Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) for special project on skill development and women empowerment in Southern Punjab. Funding of Rs. 7.33 has also been approved for financial support of Handicraft Association of Bahawalpur.

In the meeting special considerations were given to project which would play a vital role in enhancing exports. For this purpose, Rs. 172 million were approved for establishment of Mango Treatment Project. This project will be carried out in collaboration with a highly qualified standard company on 50/50 basis. Therefore, same amount would be contributed by the company, which would be selected through expression of interest. Funding of Rs. 7.5 million was approved for establishment of R and D centre for Bed wear Association.

All the participants were very active and focused on the cost effective aspect of funding while making appropriations.

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