much needed pack

The huge Kissan Package announced a few days ago by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was, in fact, a much-needed package of incentives and relief measures, as the farming community was preparing to assess and overcome the enormous loss and damage they had suffered. due to unprecedented and heavier rains and flooding which had almost completely wiped out standing crops including cotton, rice and sugarcane on almost forty lakh acres in the severely flooded areas of the country . Through the Kissan Package, the government is able to meet the demands put forward by the farming community. The package involves Rs.1.8 trillion to be spent in the current fiscal year, four times what they were receiving last year.

Representatives of the farming community have wasted no time in welcoming and appreciating the Kissan Package. Hopefully, they will make the most of it to rehabilitate themselves and be able to work with renewed zeal and vigor, thus strengthening the agricultural sector and the national economy. In fact, the federal government deserves credit for allocating this substantial amount for the package despite facing financial constraints, and it is certainly worth making such a large investment in the agricultural sector. Pakistan is an agrarian country but unfortunately it has to import basic products such as wheat, sugar, cotton and pulses mainly due to the bitter fact that this sector is never paid attention to.

Such a package was surely needed as the agricultural sector had suffered greatly from the recent unprecedented rains and floods caused by climate change in Sindh and South Punjab. As a result, prices of agricultural commodities have soared due to shortages and disruption of supplies.

We should also appreciate that the federal government made a timely decision to allocate Rs 11 billion to give up the markup on loans taken by farmers in the flood affected areas. Similarly, the Center and the provinces will also provide more than Rs 8,000 crore to small farmers in the flood-affected areas, in addition to the substantial allocation of Rs 50,000 crore to provide easy loans to young people residing in the rural areas and want to become professional farmers.

The package also provides for measures such as lowering fertilizer prices and ensuring the availability of urea in sufficient quantities. This is in addition to the provision of solar panels for tube wells, the introduction of quotas for electricity bills, the provision of electricity at a fixed rate of Rs 13 per unit, and agricultural inputs at affordable prices. All these measures will undoubtedly go a long way to increasing the productivity of the agricultural sector.

Of relevance is the bitter fact that the local tractor industry refused to cooperate with the federal government in supplying locally made tractors to farmers at somewhat subsidized prices. The Prime Minister was forced to resort to importing five-year-old second-hand tractors and, to offset any adverse impact of this on the local tractor industry, he also reduced import duties on tractor parts to 15 per cent. hundred.

In addition, in the flood-affected area, the landless will receive interest-free loans worth Rs 5000 crore and up to 12 lakh bags of certified wheat seed and fertilizer as well as gas will be provided at lower prices to offset the impact of reducing DAP fertilizer prices by Rs.2500 per bag. Consequently, the DAP bag will now be available to farmers at Rs 11,250 instead of the previous rate of Rs 14,000 per bag. The positive response of the fertilizer factories to the federal government in reducing the prices of their DAP products surely deserves to be appreciated in comparison with the negative and indifferent attitude of the local tractor plants for providing some reduction in the prices of locally manufactured tractors for provide some relief. farmers, particularly those living in areas affected by floods and rains.

The government’s timely decision to import 1.6 million tons of wheat to offset the adverse impact of the devastation caused by the floods is expected to help increase its supply and stabilize prices of the product that was on the rise, causing difficulties for the people hit by inflation in the country.

While welcoming the relief measures and incentives being taken by the federal government, the provinces will also need to adopt a long-term strategy to reform, modernize and strengthen the agricultural sector. Pakistan is blessed with fertile land, a pleasant climate and a complete irrigation system, but somehow the country has not been able to fully exploit the optimal potential of the sector.

Unfortunately, the factors that hinder the accelerated growth of the agricultural sector are fully known by all involved and those who matter, but somehow, there was no coherence and long-term planning to address the challenges facing this sector on a priority basis.

The current government is here for a short time, but it is worth noting that it still showed due interest and concern in addressing the immediate problems of the farming community. It is to be hoped that future governments will act more decisively to address problems in the agricultural sector, such as poor crop yields, unfair distribution of irrigation water, lack of agricultural reforms and post-harvest infrastructure, as well as the adoption of modern and proper and due use. of technological innovations as well.

Overall, one can only thank the federal government for putting forward the much needed package of incentives and relief measures for the advantage and benefit of the farming community and thus meeting all of their demands. Indeed, it was an urgently needed package and the results will only accrue through its proper, sincere, dedicated and committed implementation by all concerned. It goes without saying that prosperous farmers mean a prosperous, progressive and developed Pakistan.

About William G.

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