Govt allocates Rs27.96b as fertilizer subsidy

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Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Bosan Friday told the Senate that the government allocated Rs 27.96 billion in the current budget for subsidy on fertilisers in order to bolster agriculture growth.He said the subsidy was allocated for the entire subsidy scheme, including Rs 17.16 billion for Urea and Rs 10.80 billion for DAP

He said that the subsidy was allocated for the entire subsidy scheme, including Rs 17.16 billion for Urea and Rs 10.80 billion for DAP fertiliser on the basis of equal sharing of federal and provincial governments. He added that despite the exhaustion of these funds, the scheme was continuing on the direction of Prime Minister, Muhammed Nawaz Sharif.

Sikandar Bosan said that the government had reduced sales tax to 7 pc from 17 pc on imported machinery and equipment for the agriculture sector.

The minister said that the customs duty on import of agriculture-related machinery had also been reduced from 5 pc to 2 pc to promote use of machinery in the agriculture sector.
He added that the ministry was mainly responsible for policy formulation, economic coordination and planning for food security in the country.The main task also included procurement of food grains, fertilizer import and price stabilization of agricultural  produce, international liaison, and economic studies for framing agricultural policies.
Sikandar Bosan said that the government was taking many steps to ensure the self sufficiency in the country by introducing more productive varieties, development of hybrids, disease resistant varieties, drought resistant varieties, climate change adaptability, Kissan Package, 2015 and fertilizer subsidy schemes 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Resultantly, the minister said that there was surplus of all major food items like wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize, etc.
He said that Minister for Finance in the Budget 2016-17 had announced fertilizer cash subsidy of Rs 300 per bag on Di- Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) and Rs 156 per bag on Urea fertilizer.
The mechanism for the disbursement of fertilizer subsidy scheme had been made on the physical verification of the provincial governments and sales tax returns verified by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), he added.