Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Bosan said on Friday that investment in agriculture sector was an easy way to alleviate poverty.
Addressing a gathering of farmers at the sports stadium for the compensation cheques distribution ceremony among farmers by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif under the Rs 341 billion Kissan Package, Bosan said that according to a study, five per cent increase in income in agriculture sector translates into eight per cent increase in income in urban areas.
He said the PML-N government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had started providing much needed relief to farmers under an unprecedented Kissan Package as it believes that well-being of farmers and increase in their income would result in more economic activity in urban areas also and attract more investment in other sectors.
Bosan said that it was for the first time in the country’s history that a government had launched a huge relief package extending financial support directly to farmers.
He said the government would invest over Rs 16 billion on providing loans/relief to farmers to install solar tube wells.
This one-time investment from farmers with support from government would enable them to get water for irrigation purposes at minimal cost.
He said that prices of rice and cotton had gone down in the international market. He said that the government had decided to extend loans to exporters to enable them buy agricultural produce from farmers and export it to attract foreign exchange.
He said that rice mills had been provided relief in turnover tax while the government had also reduced import duty on agricultural machinery from 43 per cent to 9 per cent.
Bosan hailed Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif for making arrangements speedily for the implementation of Kissan Package in Punjab.
He said that agriculture was the backbone of the national economy and 87 per cent of the total exports of the country come from this sector.
He said the government was fully aware of the problems being faced by the farming community and would continue to take steps for their well-being.