islamabad -  ahmad ahmadani -

Despite approval of the federal cabinet to decrease the tariff of agri tube wells, ministry of finance has so far declined to reduce price by Rs2 per unit owing to financial woes of the country.

Earlier, the federal cabinet on March 7 had given approval to reduce the price of per unit of power for the consumers of agri tube wells. After which, a committee comprising officials of both finance and power ministries was formed to define the methodology of implementation and a limit of subsidy for the agri sector. Even, after the recommendations of this committee executive order was issued on April 5 asking power-distributing companies (DISCOs) to reduce Rs2/unit in the tariff of agri consumers. And, a copy of executive order was also dispatched to the finance ministry while finance ministry was expected to issue notification to DISCOs pertaining provision of subsidy. However, federal cabinet on December 9, 2011 had withdrawn subsidy to the agri tubewells resultantly farmers could not benefit with fruits of subsidy.

Sources in water and power ministry on Saturday disclosed a bad news for the farmers of this beloved homeland that the finance ministry owing to its financial woes has refused to provide annual subsidy of 16 billion and 50 crores to the tube wells and sat aside the earlier decision of the federal cabinet. The finance ministry has also asked the water and power ministry to approach the cabinet to get the decision revoked. However, power ministry in its response has said that since the ministry is satisfied and has no worry about the decision of federal cabinet so even if finance ministry is not ready to provide the subsidy under which farmers from all over the country were set to get a sigh of relief then it (finance ministry) should approach the cabinet for the withdrawal of the decision.

Finance ministry in a letter to the power ministry has refused to implement the decision of federal cabinet pertaining provision of worthy subsidy to the agri tube wells which in result would affect the over burdened farmers of the country already bearing heavy brunt of high prices of electricity tariff, fertilizers, seeds etc.

“Under the rules of business a strict action against concerned officials of both ministries is possible if it is set aside and not implemented, “ said a senior official of cabinet division, adding,” if finance ministry is not willing to provide subsidy to agri tube wells then it should contact to the federal cabinet for cancellation of the decision.

The federal cabinet in its decision pertaining subsidy to agri tube wells had set Rs8/unit while giving Rs2/unit reduction in the tariff of agri tube wells. And, it was also decided in the cabinet meeting that finance ministry after giving worthy Rs16.50billion subsidy to the agri tube wells would not provide more subsidy even the per unit tariff of electricity goes up.