Islamabad     -      The high sugar prices echoed in the National Assembly standing committee as the Federal Minister for planning said that there is need to check the matter of high sugar prices in the country.

There is need to check the Sugar price hike as the it is currently being sold at Rs80 per Kg, the Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms said while briefing the Standing Committee on Planning Development and Reform here. The minister was responding to a comment made by a member of the committee that the price of sugarcane is low while the price of sugar is extremely high. Nawab Sher Ali said that farmers are getting nothing because fertilizer, pesticides and sugar is expensive but sugarcane is cheaper. The minister said that for providing relief to the farmers we want to extend subsidy on fertilizers. On the high rate of poultry meat, the minister said that the main reason for increase in poultry prices was the imposition of taxes on Soybean. Soybean is being used in the poultry feed and the imposition of taxes makes its expensive, he explained.

Standing Committee on Planning Development and Reform that meet under the Chairmanship of Junaid Akbar, MNA discussed 11th and 12th five years plan. The committee was informed that all the targets of 11th five years plan were missed. The GDP growth was 4.7 percent against the target of 5.4 percent, Agriculture growth was 2.2 percent against the target of 3.5 percent, it was informed. 

The Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms briefed about salient features of the draft of 12th five years plan and suggested that the Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reform and Standing Committee on Finance & Revenue may examine and suggest valuable opinions on draft plan before finalizing.  He further informed that Government is trying to achieve the target of sustainable GDP by controlling fiscal deficit, improving balance of payment, increasing exports through improving domestic production and decreasing imports. For improvement in domestic productivity the Government is planning to pay special attention towards agriculture sector, small medium enterprises (SME) and large scale manufacturing. He also invited the Committee to visit the Ministry for detailed briefing on the PSDP.

The Committee discussed the compliance report regarding the recommendations of the previous meeting; the committee was not satisfied with the reply of Ministry regarding Mansehra Air Port. The Committee constituted a Sub-Committee to examine the Mansehra Airport Project, under the convener-ship of Mr. Saleh Muhammad alongwith two committee members. The Ministry submitted comprehensive analysis on last three 5 years Plans. The representatives from the Government of Sindh and Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa placed issues relating to devolved matters before the Committee. The Committee recommended that the pending issues relating to devolved ministries may be resolved at the earliest by the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination with consultation of Cabinet Division. The Director General (Works) CDA briefed the Committee about construction of additional family suits for the members of Parliament. The Committee appreciated the KPK Government for inclusion of Marble City Buner Project in the Provincial Development Programme 2019-20 on the recommendation of National Assembly Standing Committee.

The meeting was attended by Sher Akbar Khan, Saleh Muhammad, Shaukat Ali, Syed Faiz Ul Hassan, Nawab Sher, Dr. Seemi Bukhari, Muhammad Sajjad, Sardar Muhammad Irfan Dogar, Shaza Fatima Khawaja,Naveed Dero, Syed Agha Rafiullah, Abdul Shakoor, Minister, Secretary and senior officers from the Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform, CDA, Civil Aviation and representative of Provincial Governments attended the meeting.