Fakhar for collaborating with provinces to implement agri package


By Asim Hussain

ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam on Wednesday said that Ministry of National Food Security and Research would collaborate with provincial governments at all levels for successful implementation of Agriculture Fiscal Package.
He said that federal government, despite the challenging times, allocated Rs. 5 billion for the vulnerable segments of Farmer community and now implementation requirements have to be met by the provincial governments.
While chairing a meeting on Agricultural Fiscal Package with provincial agriculture secretaries, he said that Pakistan has huge potential to encourage organic fertilizers that play an important role in sustaining the agriculture system. The mode of implementation of the package was also discussed with provinces.
A multi-billion agriculture package has been approved for farmers with subsidy on fertilizers, cotton seed and white fly pesticides; reduced bank markup on agricultural loans. In addition, the package includes sales tax subsidy on locally manufactured tractors. Under the agriculture package, subsidy to tune of approximately Rs. 37 billion is offered to farmers on the purchase of fertilizers.
Similarly, under the agriculture package, diminution in markup of agriculture loans to farmers at the total cost of Rs. 8.8 billion and subsidy on cotton seed at a cost of Rs. 2.3 billion and white fly pesticides at Rs. 6 billion were approved.
The package would also include Rs. 2.5 billion subsidy on sales tax on the locally-manufactured tractors for a period of one year. All banks, along with ZTBL, in the scheme will enhance their outreach to farmers with focus on subsistence farmers with a land holding of 12.5 acres. Federal Minister asked the provincial secretaries to monitor implementation mechanism, to ensure that the actual beneficiaries of package were genuine farmers.
Federal Secretary for National Food Security also asked all provincial secretaries to speed up their proposals so that benefit could be provided to farmers at the earliest. The meeting was attended by senior officials of the ministry and secretary agriculture Punjab, Wasif Khursheed, Secretary Agriculture Sindh, Abdul Rahim Somroo, Secretary Agriculture KP Muhammad Israr and Director Extension Balochistan.