Ministry of Health informs ECC meeting that around 10 million people will be covered in first phase of procurement
A meeting of Pakistan Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Friday approved a supplementary grant of $150 million to the Ministry of Health for the purchase of a COVID-19 vaccine.
According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Finance, the ECC was informed that these funds would cover the first phase of procurement, and would be sufficient for the most vulnerable 5 percent of the population. The Ministry of Health said health workers and people aged above 65—around 10 million people—would be covered in this first phase.
The ECC also directed the Health Ministry to discuss its proposal with the World Bank, as well as other donors, to secure their financial assistance for the vaccine’s procurement in both the first phase, as well as the additional quantities that would be required to cover the entire population. In this regard, the Health Ministry was directed to draft a proposal on the pricing and risk mitigation mechanism related to COVID-19 vaccine’s procurement.
Chaired by Adviser to the P.M. on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, the ECC meeting also approved a request by the Economic Affairs Division to formally seek the G20 Debt Relief for January-June 2021—pending approval of the federal cabinet.
The meeting approved two grants of Rs. 19.656 billion and Rs. 500 million to initiate the process of retrenchment of Pakistan Steel Mills employees, as well as the P.M.’s “special package” for Technical and Vocational Education and Training sector development, respectively.
Additionally, Rs. 689.3 million was approved as budget re-appropriation for National Information Technology Board to fulfill various requirements.
The meeting was also briefed on the status of wheat import through Trade Corporation of Pakistan, with the National Food Security and Research Ministry saying the lowest bid had been accepted for the provision of additional 340,000 metric tons of wheat. The total quantity to be imported is now 2.248 million metric tons.
The ECC additionally approved a proposal by the Ministry of Energy to allocate 2.25 MMCFD gas from Umair-1 to OGDCL for sale to Engro under a Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement subject to initiation of Field Development Plan and Development and Production Lease.
The ECC meeting was attended by Industries Minister Hammad Azhar, Economic Affairs Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Adviser to the P.M. on Institutional Reforms Ishrat Hussain, Special Assistant to the P.M. on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, and Special Assistant to the P.M. on Revenue Waqar Masood.