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ECC approves $150mn grant for purchase of COVID-19 vaccine

ISLAMABAD: Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has approved a technical supplementary grant of $150 million for the 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. The meeting was informed that the first phase of procurement and the amount of vaccine will suffice for the most vulnerable five percent of the population which incl health workers and the population above the age of 65 years.

It 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 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.

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 202. The approval of the federal cabinet would be required for signing of the bilateral debt service suspension agreements.

ECC also approved two technical supplementary grants for initiate the process for retrenchment of Pakistan Steel Mills employees for an amount over Rs19.6 billion. It approved another grant for the Prime Minister’s special package to implement the “Skills for All’ strategy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector development  for Rs500 million.

The meeting approved over Rs689 million as budget re-appropriation for National Information Technology Board (NITB) for fulfilling its various requirement. ECC was also briefed on the status of wheat import through Trade Corporation of Pakistan (TCP).