Agriculture main engine of economic growth, says Hafeez Shaikh

ISLAMABAD, Sep 6 (APP): Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that the government had a special focus on agriculture sector, considering it a main pivot to the growth of economy.

According to a press statement issued by the Finance Ministry Friday, the adviser said that the government was allocating vast sums of funds for the growth of agriculture sector.
“Only last week the government approved projects worth Rs250 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 here.

The stakeholders included office-holders of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association ( 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.

Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production and Investment, Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan, Minister for National Food Security and Research, Shabbar Zaidi, Chairman FBR, 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 finalise 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.

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