Trade: (FPCCI hails farmers relief package)

ISLAMABAD: Mian Mohammad Adrees, President, Federation of Pakistan chambers of commerce and industry (FPCCI), hailed farmers relief package of Rs: 341 billion announced by Prime Minister, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif for the benefit of farmers.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, he said this package includes reduction in price of fertilizer by Rs: 500 per bag, direct cash assistance of Rs.5000 per acre for small farmers.

He said Prime Minister realizing difficulties of farmers growing rice and cotton due to high cost of inputs, electricity and low prices of crop in the international market, announced various relief measures, including reduction in import duties for agricultural machinery, lowering income rate on import of agricultural products. Interest free loans from banks for solar system tube wells.

Prime Minister also announced relief for rice exporters to extend their loan repayments till 30th June ‘2016, due to fall in international prices of rice. This was demanded by rice exporters association in the meeting on 11th September ‘2015 in Prime Minister House, Islamabad.

Mian Adrees appreciates timely decision of this important package, which will benefit all farmers across the board and reduce their cost of production and save them from losses.

He also asked Minister of petroleum to speed up the process for Iran Pakistan gas pipeline for which agreement between the two countries was signed few years ago, but further progress was stopped due to international sanctions against Iran.

This gas pipeline is in the interest of Pakistan, where industries and citizens are suffering due to shortage of energy and no important industries setup in the last 7 years.

He said that exports can only be increased if energy is supplied to the industries without load shedding and cities as well as villages are also protected from long hours of power outage.