A busy farmer in the outskirts of Lahore, Pakistan. File/Agence France-Presse
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that the government had been focusing on improving the real sector growth through promotion of agriculture, industrial and services sectors of economy.
Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh discussed the financial development, real sector, and economic growth of the country.
“The government is focused on bringing improvement in the real sector growth through inclusive growth in agriculture, industrial and services sectors,” he informed the Senate in a written reply to a question raised by a member of the Upper House.
He said that realising the importance of sub-sectors of the economy, the government had initiated different programmes including National Agriculture Emergency programme (NAEP) under which thirteen mega projects worth Rs277 billion were under execution currently. He said that the objective of NAEP was to bring about improvements in water availability, soil conservation and shrimp fanning and establishing new agriculture markets.
The minister said that Rs10.964 billion mega project National Oilseed Enhancement programme (NOEP) under NAEP was launched to boost the adoption of oilseed crops at cost of Rs10.964 billion for 5 years. Likewise, the government allocated Rs10 billion for locust control in current budget while an amount of Rs 12billion was allocated under Public Sector Development Programme 2020-21 for ensuring food security and promoting agriculture sector.
He said that the government enhanced agriculture credit disbursement by 3.5 per cent during the fiscal year 2020 to Rs 1214.7 billion as compared to the corresponding period of last year while during the During the first three months of financial year 2020-21, agriculture credit disbursement stood at Rs250 billion.
Meanwhile, to support industrial sector, the government had taken many initiatives including reduction of Federal Excise Duty (FED) on cement from Rs2 per kilogramme to Rs1.5 per kilogramme, relaxation of excise duties on textile items, Rs33 billion markup subsidy for construction sector, Export Finance Scheme (EFS) maintained at 3 per cent while Long Term Finance Facility (KTFF) was reduced from 6 per cent to 5 per cent. Likewise, the State Bank of Pakistan had announced additional support of Rs190 billion for exporters and investors, he said. The minister said that the government measure in agriculture, industries and external sector along with controlling inflationary pressures would not only stimulate the economic growth but would also provide significant support in reducing the poverty. In addition, Shaikh added, the government also took many initiative to promote growth and reduce poverty. These included, the targeted poverty reduction intervention made through Ehsaas programme, BISP, Sehat Sahulat programme, expanding coverage of Weseela-e-Taleem programme, 10 billion Tree Tsunami programme and Clean and Green Pakistan.
Under the Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme total allocation of Rs144 billion were being disbursed for immediate cash relief of Rs12,000 each to 12 million families while under the Kamyab Jawan Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme Rs100 billion would be provided under low cost loans for youth to set up or expand business.
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