COVID-19: ECC approves multi-billion agriculture package to assist farmers

ECC approves 0.3 tonnes of duty-free import of wheat
ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has approved a multi-billion agriculture package to assist the farming community amid the COVID-19 epidemic.
The decision was taken in the ECC meeting which was held in Islamabad, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting on Wednesday.
The agriculture package is part of the Rs 100 billion allocated out of the Rs 1, 200-billion COVID-19 relief package, for the Small and Medium Enterprises and the agriculture sector.
As part of the package, the subsidy of Rs37 billion will be given to farmers on fertilizers and pesticides while bank mark-up on agriculture loans will be reduced.
Besides, sales tax subsidy worth Rs2.5 billion will be given on locally manufactured tractors. The plan will be implemented by all the provinces and the amount will be disbursed through the scratch card scheme already being implemented in Punjab.
The ECC also approved a proposal by the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division for disbursement of the special relief package for the population living along the Line of Control.
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan had urged to pay greater attention to helping the agriculture sector and small and medium sector enterprises enabling them to create greater job opportunities for people of the country.
The prime minister had expressed these views while chairing a meeting with his economic team in Islamabad on Monday to review the economic situation in the wake of the epidemic situation.
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