close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
October 20, 2020

ECC unveils fertilser subsidy, forms body to set wheat price

Business

October 20, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday constituted a committee to decide wheat support price after failing to reach consensus over the issue, but it decided to provide Rs500 to Rs1,000 subsidy on fertiliser.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet decided to form the committee with Fakhar Imam, Hafeez Shaikh, Ishrat Hussain, Waqar Masood, Nadeem Baber, Razzaq Dawood, Asad Umar and Khusroo Bakhtiar to thoroughly evaluate the proposal for the increase in the minimum support price of wheat for the 20/21 crops. The meeting was told that there was a need to increase the support price to support the farmer and grow enough quantities in the next sowing season.

The meeting was told the existing support price is the exact cost of production of wheat for the last season. Farmers would abandon sowing wheat on the current price.

“The forum also discussed the need to rationalise the prices of inputs for making them more affordable to the farmers to support the rural economy through various measures and increase the supply of wheat in the market so that the flour prices are brought down,” said an official statement.

The ECC was proposed to raised wheat support price by Rs345 from the existing Rs1,400/maund. Sindh didn’t propose any price, while Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkwa want it at Rs1,650, Rs1,800 and 1,745/maund, respectively.

Pakistan is expected to witness 1.6 million tons of wheat shortfall this year. The committee has also been tasked to prepare a proposal on subsidy on fertilisers mainly diammonium phosphate, which may be offered as a part of the package for the farmers to reduce input costs. The ECC asked provinces to increase the wheat releases to stabilise/reduce the price of flour in the market. Local governments will also be directed to specially monitor the prices of wheat and flour in the markets. The committee will present its proposals in the meeting of ECC scheduled on Wednesday.

ECC approved in principle the procedure for registration under the concessionary regime of electricity, re-gasified liquefied natural gas and gas under the export-oriented sectors, erstwhile zero-rated sectors, with instructions to ensure better targeting of the recipients of the subsidy. It was decided that the previous list of manufacturers or exporters declared zero-rated by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) might be adopted in export-oriented sectors. FBR may register new manufacturers or exporters of five export oriented sectors, erstwhile five zero rated sectors, in accordance with past precedents. “FBR, petroleum and power divisions may formulate periodic rechecking/monitoring/withdrawal strategy for previous and newly registered units along with procedure to penalise in case of misrepresentation and misuse,” said the statement. The ECC further directed the officials to have a better system for gathering data regarding the agriculture sector.