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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved the proposal to increase minimum wheat support price (MSP) of wheat 2021-22 to Rs2,200/40-kg from Rs1,950 besides subsidy on fertiliser, DAP, and seeds for farmers.

The ECC meeting presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin met on Thursday has approved Ministry of National Food Security and Research’s summary, subject to approval of cabinet, revision of minimum support price (MSP) of wheat crop 2021-22 from Rs1,950/40kg to Rs2,200 per 40-kg and supplementary grant of Rs50 billion for the Power Division, and Rs4.5 billion for the Commerce Ministry’s Export Development Fund (EDF).

The ECC also approved wheat procurement target of four million metric tons (MMT) for Punjab with cash credit limit of Rs220 billion, whereas, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was allowed to procure 0.20 MMT from Punjab Food Department from its own financial arrangements. The meeting approved 1.40 million metric tons (MMT) wheat procurement target of Sindh with cash credit limit (CCL) of Rs77 billion and 0.10 million metric tons (MMT) of Balochistan with CCL for the amount Rs6.20 billion.

The meeting also revised cash credit limit of PASSCO from Rs65 billion to the level of Rs72.50 billion for procurement of 1.20 MMT of wheat at Rs2,200 per 40kg.

Lower use of fertilizers could adversely affect wheat output: official

On another summary of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research about subsidy to the farmers on fertilizer for Kharif Crops 2022, the ECC approved disbursement of Rs24.26 billion subsidy for Kharif 2022 through provinces using their existing mechanism on equal sharing basis for Phosphatic fertilisers along with direction to strengthen the tracking system.

The meeting was informed that the federal government share would be Rs12.13 billion, the meeting was informed.

The ECC also approved the Ministry of National Food Security and Research’s summary on extension in date for subsidy disbursement to the farmers on Kharif crop during 2021 on fertiliser (DAP), cotton seed and whitefly-related pesticides, under the Prime Minister’s package for agriculture in 2020-21.

An official said that the subsidy was already released to the provinces by the federal government Rs3.890 billion to the Sindh province and Rs0.541 billion to the Balochistan up to December 2021 and now the date for subsidy disbursement was extended till 30-06-2022.

The meeting was attended by Federal Ministry for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), federal secretaries and other senior officers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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