ISLAMABAD The Government may link agricultural tax with the valuation of agricultural land, as some members of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet have feared that increase in the unit value of agricultural land may result in hike of tax ratio on agriculture if imposed, TheNation has learned reliably. Available documents with TheNation revealed that during the ECC meeting on July 1 last, a flat rate of Produce Index Unit (PIU) for all categories of agricultural land has been proposed, whereas the land of different categories such as irrigated, barani-irrigated on six monthly basis exist in the country. Therefore, there is no need to effect any change. It was also suggested that real value of land should be depicted in the Pass Book so that loan can be granted according to exact value of land. Moreover, some members were of the view that increase in PIU may result in increase in the tax ratio if imposed on agriculture. The rationale behind increase in value of PIU to Rs 2,000 per PIU was also questioned. It was, therefore, stated that based on calculations made by different stakeholders, this figure has been worked out. However, there was a general consensus that present PIU value being less, needed to be increased to enhance the capacity of farmers to get requisite loans. Moreover, well-placed sources from the Ministry of Finance have also confirmed that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet considered the summary, submitted by Ministry of Finance on Increase in value of Produce Index Unit (PIU) and enhanced the existing value of Produce Index Unit (PIU) from Rs 1200 to Rs 2,000 per PIU. Further, available documents have confirmed, ECC was informed that for assessing valuations of different categories of land, the valuation of land falling in the middle category from amongst the various categories of land is taken as benchmark and lands of same category are assigned same PIU value. Again, after consultation with all stakeholders including Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd (ZTBL), Finance Division proposed that the existing value of PIU ie Rs 1,200 may be enhanced to Rs 2,000 per PIU, which will enable the farmers to avail proper value of their land for using it as a collateral. Likewise, it is relevant to mention here that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet was informed that ECC had fixed the present value of PIU at Rs 1,200 on 17th August 2007. Meanwhile there has been large increase in the prices of agricultural land and inputs, farm machinery, consequently the farmers are facing difficulties in obtaining loans on the basis of existing value of Produce Index Unit.