ISLAMABAD                  -              Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaisar has said that the upcoming Federal budget should be an opportunity to revive the lost momentum of the agriculture sector.

A pro-farmer enabling environment is imperative to make Pakistan’s agriculture sector globally competitive, said Speaker National Assembly  in a meeting with Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for National Food Security and Research and Asad Umer, Minister for Planning and Special Initiatives

Speaker Asad Qaiser said that the agriculture sector required greater investment packages as the sector was and would remain critical to Pakistan’s national food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods of the people. He stated that Special Committee on Agri Products had effectively pushed for protecting the interest of the farmers and agriculture sector.

He further added that this commitment should be translated into substantive outcomes in the upcoming budget.

The Speaker asked the Minister to ensure that present lockdown does not effect the wheat harvesting. Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam remarked that the support of the National Assembly Special Committee on Agricultural Products was crucial to uplift Pakistan’s agro-economy. He assured that all the issues hindering wheat harvesting would be addressed in coordination with provincial governments.

Minister for Planning and Special Initiatives Asad Umer said that agriculture sector was lagging behind due to irrational approach of previous governments.

He said that government would certainly make recommendation of the Special Committee, part of the upcoming budget.

He also informed that government had taken measures to bring investment in agriculture sector.

The Speaker stated that the recommendations of the National Assembly Special Committee on Agricultural Products (SCAP) were intended to bring about the fundamental policy shifts in the interest of the farmers and agriculture sector. 

The Speaker opined that given the fact that after the 18th amendment, food and agriculture is predominantly a provincial subject while food security and exports are a federal subject , the provincial governments may be reached out and synergies be forged  in reviving Pakistan’s agricultural growth. He further said that the Special Committee and the Ministry of National Food Security should comprehensively deliberate on the proposals and furnish a comprehensive report to the Committee by the end of this month.

On the sidelines of the meeting, it was also decided that MNA Ms. Shandana Gulzar Khan will replace Syed Fakhar Imam as convener of the Sub-Committee of the SCAP after his appointment as the Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research.