Islamabad-The National Assembly Standing Committee on National Food Security & Research taking notice of unnecessary taxes such as Quarterly Tariff Amount, Fuel Adjustment, Fuel Consumption, Neelum Jehlum, etc., in the bills of agricultural electricity tubewells’ connections and urged the Government to withdraw the same.

The Standing Committee on National Food Security & Research that met under the Chairmanship of MNA Rao Muhammad Ajmal Khan directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to obtain a copy of FIA report regarding Wheat/Floor and Sugar Crises from the concerned quarters and brief the members in the next meeting. Kissan Ittehad Chairman Tariq Ashfaq while briefing the committee on the problems being faced by Kissans, urged that tube-well electricity bills should be simplified. He also asked to resolve the issue of arrears of electricity bills of farmers. He asked for quality seeds, easy agriculture loans and crop insurance. 

The Committee noted that the rates of Fertilizers, Pesticides and other Machineries used in the Agriculture Sector had risen to an unprecedented level thus urged the Government to take all possible steps to get reduced the prices vis-à-vis give subsidy on the said items to facilitate the farmers.  Taking notice of unnecessary taxes such as Quarterly Tariff Amount, Fuel Adjustment, Fuel Consumption, Neelum Jehlum, etc., in the Bills of agricultural electricity tubewells’ connections, the Committee was of the view that the said taxes were causing grave concern amongst the farmers and urged the Government to withdraw the same. The Committee also recommended the Government that the rate of per unit price of these connections should be Rs5.35 only.   

The Committee also directed the Government to ensure provision of quality seeds to the farmers to get maximum productions from their crops. The Committee directed the Government to evolve Price Mechanism to control the prices of crops with the help of all stake holders.  Moreover, Crop Insurance Policy should also be developed for all major crops in the country. The Committee emphasized for enhancement of PASSCO’s role in procurement of grams, chickpea, pulses, etc. 

The Committee directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to take up the matter regarding reconstruction of old Khalas with the Provinces. The Committee viewed that apart from Wheat and Sugar, the crops of Cotton, Rice, Corn, Potato, Mango, etc., should also be given due priority as it would help fetching considerable amount of foreign exchange for the country.  

The Committee appreciated the government’s step towards mark up subsidy at the rate of 10 per cent in the loans outstanding and current (to be given during fiscal year 2020-21) to the farmers of 12.05 acre of land.