Uplift of agriculture sector on modern lines govt’s top: Miftah

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Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail on Saturday said as the agriculture sector development was on top of the government’s agenda, it decided to withdraw duties and taxes on different agriculture implements, including seeds and agro-machinery.

He reaffirmed the government’s firms commitment to upgrade and uplift local agriculture sector on modern lines and provide special incentives on farm mechanization in order to enhance per-acre output of all major and minor crops to fulfill the local needs.

Addressing the post-budget press conference, the minister said the government had proposed special relief in taxes and duties on different agriculture implements and machinery to promote and develop the agriculture sector.

The government, he said, allocated Rs 21 billion in the federal budget 2022-23 to increase crops yield, besides uplifting the livestock sector.

The minister said the Ministry of National Food Security and Research and Planning Ministry in consultation with the provinces had also devised a three-year strategy for the agriculture development. The strategy was aimed at dealing with the impact of climate change challenges on the agriculture sector, besides enhancing the production of all major and minor crops, oil seeds and pulses for the prosperity of farming communities across the country and to achieve sustainable agriculture growth.

The other objective of the initiative, he added, was to promote smart agriculture for achieving self-sufficiency in agri produces, besides value addition and agro processing to make the sector more profit oriented and competitive in local as well as international markets.

The minister said the government had also proposed to withdraw sales tax on the agriculture inputs and farm machinery, including tractors and other implements, besides different seeds, including maize, canola and sunflower and rice, were also exempted from the sales tax.

Miftah Ismail said the government had also introduced relief measures on agriculture farm machinery and logistics. The custom duty on agriculture machinery used for irrigation, drainage, cultivation and harvesting was withdrawn, he added.

The machinery related to harvesting and crop processing, green house farming and plants conservation, and other instruments was also exempted from the custom duty, he added.

Besides, the material used in agriculture industrial units and machinery manufacturing were also exempted from the custom duty, the minister said.

The minister said the government had also introduced measures to enhance domestic oil seeds production to $700 million to $ 1 billion in order to reduce reliance on the imported edible oil bill. The prices of edible oil witnessed quantum jump in the international market .

He said special incentives would be introduced for the production of corn, mustard, canola and other oil seeds to reduce dependance on imported and costly edible oil. It would also increase the farm income of local farmers, he added.—APP

 

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