Pakistan to increase wheat support price to Rs800 per 40kg

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's new government plans to enhance wheat support price from Rs625 (per 40Kg) to Rs800 per 40Kg for the next season, it is learnt.

By Our Correspondent

Published: Fri 27 Jun 2008, 9:41 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:13 PM

Finance Minister Naveed Qamar will announce this new wheat support price in September this year in order to avoid the mess created by delay in announcement of wheat procurement price by the caretaker government this year.

The government has missed this year's wheat procurement target of 5 million tonnes by more than a million tonne as it had failed to announce what procurement price on time as an incentive to farmers.

In a meeting with a group of Parliamentarians here, Qamar said yesterday now the finance ministry had asked the Zari Taraqiati Bank Ltd (ZTBL) to withhold its action against those farmers who have defaulted on small agri credits. The bank has started the sale or auction of properties of a large number of small farmers who were unable to pay the micro credits they had taken from the bank.

The ZTBL action had drawn severe criticism from farmers and lawmakers at a time when the bank has adopted a soft approach towards writing off loans to industrialists. Qamar said he had also directed the ZTBL management to make sure that application of farmers for loans got processed within a week. Farmers have been complaining about the long delays they face in getting small credits through the field officers of ZTBL.

Qamar said the management had assured him that farmers were being facilitated and they could now file applications for loans in the designated branches of ZTBL.

The finance minister said the government was also trying to make sure that the subsidy it had announced on fertilisers in the budget 2008-09 was reflected in the price of the fertilisers. He said the sales tax and customs duty had now been withdrawn on the import of tractors and agri implements in order to help the country's agriculture sector to move towards more mechanisation.

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