Federal, provincial govts to formulate mechanism for subsidy on fertilizers: Fakhar Imam

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Federal, provincial govts to formulate mechanism for subsidy on fertilizers: Fakhar Imam

ISLAMABAD-Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam Thursday said federal and provincial governments will agree on a mechanism to provide subsidy on fertilizers.

He said the farmers will be empowered through fertilizer subsidy that would also strengthen the agricultural base in the country.

Chairing the meeting on Agricultural Fiscal Package with provincial agriculture secretaries, he said farmers community will be protected and facilitated.

In the meeting, the mode of implementation of the package was also discussed with provinces.

The minister added that there are 8.2 million farmers in the country and Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to revive the agricultural sector.

We want to give this financial package with transparency, he said adding in past, transparency was not taken in this regard.

During the meeting, the minister praised Balochistan for growing organic cotton on 15,000 acres, which resulted in 22 bales per acre.

Syed Fakhr Imam said the future belongs to organic agriculture, adding that our priority should be long term research and increasing the production of five major crops.

Economic Consultant Dr Talpur briefed about a multi-billion agriculture package which was approved for farmers by cabinet on May 19.

As per the fiscal package there is a subsidy on fertilizers, cotton seed and white fly pesticides; reduced bank markup on agricultural loans, in addition to sales tax subsidy on locally manufactured tractors.

Under the agriculture package, subsidy to the tune of approximately Rs37 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 Rs8.8 billion and subsidy on cotton seed at a cost of Rs2.3 billion and white fly pesticides at Rs6 billion were approved. The package would also include Rs2.5 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 the outreach of farmers with focus on subsistence farmers with a land holding of 12.5 acres.

The minister also called provincial secretaries for the implementation mechanism, to be monitored carefully to ensure that the actual beneficiaries of package were genuine farmers.