ISLAMABAD: While the government continues to tax every other nook and corner of the country’s economy, it is considering giving a relief package to the agriculture sector.
The government is planning on reducing or entirely abolishing General Sales Tax (GST) on agriculture products aimed at bringing down the cost of production of the sector.
On the directives of the prime minister, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, the Ministry of Finance and the provincial governments are working on modalities for a relief package for farmers who have been victims to high cost of production.
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“We have held a meeting regarding this and the next meeting will be held after Eid to work out the modalities for a relief scheme,” said a senior official of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research while talking to The Express Tribune.
“Our first priority is to reduce or abolish the GST on agro-inputs so that all costs of the agriculture sector could be brought down,” said the official.
It was added that it is vexing for the government to constantly deal with surplus stock of crops and have farmers and exporters demand subsidy on exports every time.
“Our agro-products cannot be exported despite a bulk of surplus stock due to huge price differences in the international market,” he said while stating that the main cause of high prices was the increased cost of production.
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“Hence, we are considering introducing a relief package which would drastically reduce the cost of inputs,” he said.
This will not only benefit the growers, but also the consumers and it will also encourage export of agro-products.
Another official from the ministry stated that the government is working on the Indian model for its agriculture sector.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2015.
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