The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) (ECC) has approved a multi-billion rupee farming package to provide farmers with fertilizer subsidies, reduced bank mark-up on farm loans, cotton subsidies, and whitefly pesticides, as well as sales tax subsidies on locally produced tractors.
The agricultural program for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the agriculture sector is part of the Rs. 100 billion allocated from the Rs. 1,200-billion Coronavirus relief program.
The package on agriculture was proposed by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFSR) at a cost of Rs. 56.6 billion, but the ECC, chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, asked the NFSR Ministry to rationalize it according to its share of the overall Rs. 100 billion packages, announced for SMEs and the agriculture sector, from Rs. 1200. The ECC had already approved a 50 billion Rs package for SMEs to provide indirect cash flow support via prepaid electricity to nearly 3.5 million people.
The cabinet also considered and accepted a proposal by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to release 35,000 metric tons of wheat from the PASSCO to the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir at a cost of Rs. 1.52 billion, including wheat costs and incidental charges, to be paid by the federal government 50 percent from the stimulus package announced to counter COVID-19.
The ECC also took up numerous technical supplementary grant proposals from different divisions and accepted one Rs. 16.6 billion technical supplementary grant proposal from the Defense Division to meet the expenditure on POLs, services, and medical stores established by the Defense Services. And another request from the Finance Division for an Rs. 288 million technical supplementary grant to pay wages to Pakistan Machine Tool Factory employees for the period from October 2019 until June 2020.
Extracted from City42 News