ECC approves multi-billion package to boost agriculture, support farmers
ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet Wednesday approved a multi-billion agriculture package to provide farmers subsidy on fertilizers, reduce bank mark-up on agriculture loans, give subsidy on cotton seed and white fly pesticides in addition to sales tax subsidy on locally manufactured tractors.
The ECC meeting was chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh here.
The agriculture package is the part of the Rs100 billion funds earmarked for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the agriculture sector out of the Rs1,200 billion coronavirus relief package.
The agriculture package was proposed by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research at a cost of Rs56.6 billion, however the ECC asked the Ministry of NFS&R to rationalize it as per its share in the overall
Rs100 billion package announced for the SMEs and the agriculture sector out of the Rs1200 billion coronavirus relief package.
The ECC had already approved a Rs50 billion package for the SMEs to provide indirect cash flow support to nearly 3.5 million people through pre-paid electricity.
Under the agriculture package, as prepared by Ministry of NFS&R in consultation with the stakeholders, subsidy to the tune of approximately Rs 37 billion would be offered to farmers on the purchase of fertilizers.
The amount would include a subsidy of Rs 925 per bag on DAP and other Phosphatic fertilizers and Rs 243 per bag on urea and other nitrogen fertilizers.
The ECC was told that the estimated Urea offtake would be around 3.04 million tons while DAP was estimated at 0.95 million tons for the Kharif season.
The subsidy scheme would be implemented by the provinces and the amount would be disbursed through scratch card scheme already being implemented by the Province of Punjab.
The ECC was told that the fertilizer share in cost of production for major crops was around 10 to 15 percent and the provision of subsidy would reduce cost of production for farmers and increase their affordability to adopt the recommended level of fertilizer nutrient use and best agricultural management practices. - APP