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Thursday May 30, 2024

Special steps proposed for boosting agri growth

federal government proposed special measures for increasing agricultural growth, in the budget for fiscal year 2023-2024

By Muhammad Anis
June 10, 2023
In this picture taken on February 23, 2020, officials of the Agriculture Department on a tractor spray pesticides to kill locusts as a farmer works in a field in Pipli Pahar village in Pakistans central Punjab province. AFP
In this picture taken on February 23, 2020, officials of the Agriculture Department on a tractor spray pesticides to kill locusts as a farmer works in a field in Pipli Pahar village in Pakistan's central Punjab province. AFP

ISLAMABAD: The federal government, while terming agriculture as the backbone of the country’s economy, has proposed special measures for increasing agricultural growth, in the budget for fiscal year 2023-2024. 

Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar in his budget speech said that the limit of agricultural loans was being increased from Rs1,800 billion to Rs2,250 billion. 

The government has also proposed allocating Rs5 billion for extending concessional loans to the agro industry. It has also been proposed to allocate Rs30 billion for converting 50,000 agricultural tube-wells to solar energy. The decision would help the growers community to save huge expenses which are incurred on operation of tube-wells on electricity or diesel. 

The government has also decided to abolish all the taxes and duties on import of seeds in order to promote use of seeds of high quality. Similarly, it has also been proposed to end customs duty on import of saplings. In yet another major step, it was also proposed to exempt agro-based industrial units in rural areas, which are particularly for food processing units, for five years. It was also proposed to release short and middle easy loans under the Prime Minister’s Youth, Business Agriculture Scheme. For the same purpose, it has been proposed to allocate Rs10 billion for markup subsidy for the upcoming fiscal year. It was also proposed to allocate Rs6 billion for subsidy on Urea fertilizer. 

In order to increase production capacity of small farmers, it was proposed to provide them loans with minimum markup and for this budget of Rs10 billion would be allocated.