ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the federal government was cognizant of the problems of cultivators of sugarcane and it had directed the provincial governments to address it on priority.

The prime minister was talking to Minister of State for National Food Security Sayed Ayaz Ali Shah Shirazi, who called on him here on Thursday.

The minister informed the prime minister about problems in payments to the cultivators during buying and selling of their produce at prescribed rates.

The prime minister said it was the jurisdiction of provincial governments to ensure timely payments to the cultivators of sugarcane, however, the federal government and cabinet while expressing their concern over the issue had directed the provincial governments to fulfill their responsibilities in that regard so that timely payment to them could be ensured.

APP adds: Meanwhile, the government disbursed Rs19 billion among the textile sector against claims for Rs 25 billion through the State Bank of Pakistan under the Prime Minister's Export Enhancement Package till January 20, 2018.

The Rs 162 billion Export Enhancement Package was aimed at helping the textile sector to gain competitiveness in the international market in order to enhance the country's exports, a senior official of Ministry of Commerce and textiles industry told APP here on Thursday.

"The government wants to revive confidence of the textile sector through the package," he said, adding the package would be expanded to other industrial sectors, including the pharmaceutical sector.

"We are committed to providing an enabling business environment to all the industrial sectors," he added.

The government, the official said, had also given procedural and tax relaxations on the import of textile machinery  for the modernization of industry and to enhance the capacity of the sector.

The official said that through this package, the cost of doing business would come down in the country.