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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam on Wednesday said that Rs5.5 billion subsidy will be given to Punjab province to ensure timely execution of the Agriculture Transformation Plan (ATP).

Imam said this while presiding over the 15th meeting of the National Coordination Committee of the Agriculture Transformation Plan that reviewed province-wise decisions taken under the ATP. The minister said that the main objective of the meeting was to ensure monitoring of progress in order to ensure that the ATP is on track.

He asked the Punjab province to accelerate the process regarding finalising the mechanism to distribute subsidised agricultural implements to farmers. Federal Secretary of National Food Security Tahir Khursheed, Convener of the NCC Abid Suleri, and the chief secretaries of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, and Balochistan provinces also attended the meeting.

During the meeting, Imam said that Rs5.5 billion subsidy will be given to the Punjab to ensure that the ATP is timely executed. He will make a request to the chief minister Balochistan to ensure allocation of funds in Annual Development Plan (ADP) of the province for the current fiscal year, he said.

Imam asked Sindh to ensure timely execution of Hari Card system on the pattern of Kissan Card Mechanism being followed by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Punjab.

Furthermore, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was advised to start working for distribution of subsidised agricultural implements to farmers in light of recommendations shared by the federal government. The secretary agriculture Punjab informed the meeting that a total of 513,000 farmers have been registered till date and 307,158 Kissan Cards have been distributed amongst the farmers.

The secretary agriculture Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa informed that total 500,000 farmers got registered and 3,500 cards distributed amongst the farmers for oilseed. He said that to facilitate farmers at union council level, agriculture extension based service of all the provinces are being re-vamped under the ATP.

The senior officials briefed the meeting about drive with respect to ensure availability and price control of fertilizers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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