ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered provincial governments to take action against grabbers and profiteers and those involved in smuggling urea fertilizers, following complaints from various parts of the county.
The Prime Minister chaired a review meeting on “priority sectors” – progress in implementation regarding the agricultural transformation plan and special economic zones.
The meeting was also briefed on the consumption of urea, DAP and the operation against hoarders as well as the progress of the collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Research for the transfer of knowledge with the aim of introducing innovative agricultural techniques to improve yield and diversity. .
The Prime Minister said that the current government is the first in Pakistan’s history to have developed a comprehensive agricultural transformation plan and is now in its implementation phase.
The plan, he said, envisions the mechanization of the agricultural sector, the provision of quality seeds, an efficient water management system and assistance to animal husbandry transform the sector into a high-end economic entity. yield.
With the introduction of the Kissan card, the fertilizer subsidy and the genetic improvement of livestock, the government aims to achieve even higher yields compared to the record yield of the previous year, he added.
The meeting was informed that for the dissemination of quality seeds in order to increase the average yield and the quality of the products, the relevant approvals have been taken and the release of funds is underway.
Urea-based fertilizer plants: the ministry hesitates to supply LNG
For the genetic improvement of livestock, the import of quality semen has been proposed, the process is accelerated and is given high priority.
In addition, to help pastoralists, the 9211 helpline has been reactivated in the Punjab, while it is almost completed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, while the agricultural mechanization project is underway. of completion, whereby the distribution of machines to farmers will begin soon.
This will not only help to increase the yield, but will also help reduce operating costs.
In addition to the above, the development of a comprehensive and well-managed information and communication technology system for the agricultural sector, including extension services to support farmers, will also be initiated in the first quarter of the year to come.
The meeting also provided a comprehensive update on institutional reforms regarding research institutes, according to which 65 percent of the proposed interventions have already been implemented with a particular focus on cotton research institutes.
Agricultural research centers of excellence (CoEs) are soon to be launched in Punjab and other provinces with a focused approach on high-yielding crops and crops that will significantly reduce dependence on imports.
The meeting received a detailed briefing on olive cultivation and was informed that the import of high yielding plants for 20,000 acres has already started.
Regarding shrimp farming, the meeting received an update on hatcheries that have been established and will soon be operational in Punjab and Balochistan.
Urea shortage expected in winter
Regarding special economic zones, the prime minister said the government’s goal is to increase investment in SEZs for the establishment of export-oriented industries, as the emphasis on ease of doing business began to produce positive results.
The meeting gave detailed presentations on SEZs and initiatives taken by the BOI, the CPEC Authority and relevant ministries to help investors obtain notices of compliance and comply with various provincial and federal government regimes.
The meeting was informed that four major SEZs, including the industrial city of Allama Iqbal, Rashakai, Dhabeji and Bostan, are operational with a total number of 21 SEZs of different sizes.
A one-stop-shop model for investors has been prepared by the BOI to assist in the provision of basic equipment, including electricity, gas, water and building permits.
A unified compliance regime has also been formulated for services under the jurisdiction of the provincial and federal governments.
In addition, a proposal regarding the empowerment of management companies to obtain NOCs / permits on behalf of investors was also presented.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021