Islamabad (April 27, 2018): Agricultural production is slated to increase, Ismail said, with the government intending to continue implementing an agricultural policy in FY18-19 “until we end the tradition of subsidies”.
Estimated loans to the agriculture sector will increase to Rs1,100bn, he said.
“A second green revolution is needed for advancement in the agriculture sector,” the minister explained. “The next federal government will leave all decisions regarding subsidies to the provincial governments while the federal government’s focus will be on providing a favourable environment for research and development, an increase in production, access to markets and improvement in technology.”
“I am happy to announce that while we had proposed a 3pc sales tax on fertiliser, the PM has approved sales tax of 2pc only on the recommendation of Sikandar Bosan, the food security minister.”The 2pc reduction in GST on agricultural machinery has been proposed from 7pc to 5pc, while a relaxation in dairy and livestock taxes has also been proposed.
“Pakistan is the 5th largest cotton grower in the world but lags behind in exports of cotton products,” Ismail observed. “In order to improve the quality and quantity, the subject of cotton has been handed over to the Ministry of Food Security and Research from the Textile Ministry.”
“The govt is starting an Agricultural Support Fund with Rs5bn which will support research on new kinds of seeds and plants in order to increase agri output,” the minister said, adding that another Rs5bn had been set aside for the promotion of agri technology.“The government wants to introduce renewable energy in all sectors,” Ismail added. “It is proposed that the 16pc duty on charging stations for electric cars be ended.”
In the aftermath of the 7th NFC, the provinces have been issued an extra Rs2,500bn in eight years, and the federal government will have a reduced share in the NFC, he said.