PM: (PM announces relief package of over Rs.341 bln for farmers)

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced a big relief package of about Rs 341 billion for the farmers. Unveiling the package at Kisan convention here on Tuesday, he said the package envisages direct cash assistance to the farmers, relief in prices of agriculture inputs, provision of agriculture loans and simplifying the procedure of loans.

Nawaz Sharif announced that Rs 40 billion will be spent for payment of cash grants to small growers of rice and cotton affected by slump in prices of commodities. He said the government has decided to give cash assistance of Rs 5000 per acre to the farmers having land of 12.5 acre.

The Prime Minister said a fund of Rs 20 billion is being set up to provide fertilizers to the growers at low rate. He said Rs 25 billion have been allocated to provide Urea to the farmers at reduced rates and directed the provincial governments to ensure implementation of old rate of Urea from next month.

The Prime Minister said keeping in view the problems of farmers, it has been decided that the government will pay premium for crop insurance scheme.

He announced that interest free loans will be provided to the farmers for installation of solar tube wells or converting existing ones to the solar. He also announced power tariff concessions for the tube wells.

He said duties on imported agriculture machinery have been reduced from forty three percent to nine percent for three years. He said Rs 30 billion will be given as loan to three hundred thousand small farmers without any collateral guarantee.

Nawaz Sharif said over Rs 100 billion have been spent for the land acquisition of Diamer Basha Dam. He urged the farmers to adopt progressive farming to increase agricultural productivity and their income.

In his welcome address, Minister for National Food Security Sikandar Hayat Bosan said it is the priority of the government to decrease prices of agriculture inputs and ensure wellbeing of the growers.

A Pakistani journalist is taking on the country's powerful Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) over what
ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Standing Committee on National Food, Security and Research held here
ISLAMABAD: Commerce Ministry has failed to introduce much delayed Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STFP) that