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ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Thursday said agriculture was the main engine of economic growth and the government wanted to focus to enhance the this sector in the country.

He said the government not merely saw agriculture as providing the main pivot to the growth of economy but also allocating vast sums for its further growth, said a press release issued by Ministry of Finance here on Thursday.

“Only last week the government approved projects worth Rs. 250 billion for the uplift of agriculture sector with focus on enhancing crop productivity and improving the means and resources for better farming,” he said while talking to various stakeholders, including office-holders of APTMA, PCGA, Kissan Itehad and others who met the Adviser at the Ministry of Finance to discuss ways for ensuring competitive prices for the cotton farmers for their produce in the coming season.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan, Chairman FBR, Shabbar Zaidi and senior officials of Finance Division were also present.

Dr. Hafeez Shaikh said that the government was fully aware of the difficulties being faced by cotton growers in getting better prices which not only offset their cost of production but also provide them with incentives to use more inputs and increase the crop area for enhanced productivity.

“The government is actively considering various options and hopefully we have an arrangement which addresses the concerns of cotton growers and helps them fetch good prices for their produce,” he said.

He also asked the APTMA, PCGA and stakeholders to hold meetings with the officials of FBR and the Commerce Ministry to discuss their issues and finalize realistic proposals within the next few days to help the government take a decision that could address the concerns of all stakeholders, particularly the cotton growers in getting better prices in the upcoming season.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019