A meeting of The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) was held in Islamabad yesterday. This meeting was chaired by the adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh where a multi-billion rupee agriculture package to facilitate the farming community was approved.
This package is a part of the Rs100 billion earmarked out of the Rs1.2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package, for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) plus the agriculture sector.
A breakdown of the package:
Under the agriculture package, as prepared by the Ministry of NFS&R in consultation with the stakeholders, subsidies of approximately Rs37 billion would be offered to farmers on the purchase of fertilizers and pesticides.
The amount would include a subsidy of Rs925 per bag on DAP and other phosphatic fertilizers and Rs243 per bag on urea and other nitrogenous fertilizers.
The subsidy scheme would be implemented by the provinces and the amount would be disbursed through a scratch card scheme already being implemented by the Punjab government.
The package also includes a reduction in the markup of agriculture loans to farmers at a total cost of Rs8.8 billion and a subsidy on the cottonseed at a total cost of Rs2.3 billion and whitefly pesticides at Rs6 billion.
The package also includes a Rs2.5 billion sales tax subsidy on locally-manufactured tractors for a period of one year.
The ECC also called for the implementation mechanism, especially through the scratch card system, to be monitored carefully to ensure that the actual beneficiaries of the package were genuine farmers.
The ECC also approved a proposal by the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division for the disbursement of a special relief package for the population living along the Line of Control (LoC).
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