June 14, 2019: PTI Government has increased budget allocations for agriculture sector by 1200 percent to revive agriculture and livestock sectors.
This was announced by Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan, flanked by Prime Minister's Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Chairman Kissan Ittehad Khalid Khokhar, while addressing a news conference, in Islamabad on Thursday afternoon.
Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan said for the first time Prime Minister Imran Khan, giving priority to the agriculture, allocated 12.5 billion rupees in the budget, which was just one billion rupees.
He said the government is also going to launch 13 projects at a cost of 296 billion rupees to promote agriculture and livestock sectors in the country.
He said being a devolved subject, the federal government will chip in 93.5 billion rupees, while provinces are expected to contribute 50 billion rupees to promote the agriculture sector.
Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan said water conservation is another feature of these projects, which will focus on water course lining, development of small dams and their command areas, and establishment of check dams and ponds to store water for irrigation purposes.
Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan said he will try to get electricity rates reversed for agriculture sector at 5.35 rupees per unit, which have been enhanced to 6.85 rupees per unit in the budget.
Khalid Khokhar said the government should abolish General Sales Tax on agriculture machinery.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said federal government and provinces will jointly share additional burden of electricity bills of over 10,000 rupees to facilitate farmers.
Commenting on political matters, she said government is committed to hold those accountable, who looted national wealth. She said government is finalizing terms of reference regarding the inquiry commission announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
To a question, she said we are going to revamp state institutions like PTV, Radio Pakistan and APP. She said the government is going to formulate a new advertising media policy after consulting stakeholders.