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Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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Miftah for expediting edible oil’s import process

Finance minister says agriculture sector development govt's top agenda

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail on Saturday directed concerned authorities to expedite the process for edible oil imports from Malaysia and Indonesia to ensure smooth supply of the commodity to the consumers and stabilise its prices.

The minister was presiding over a meeting of the Committee on Edible Oil Availability, according to press statement issued by Finance Ministry.

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Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Syed Murtaza Mahmud; Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, Rana Tanveer Hussain; Secretaries of Ministry of Industries Production, Commerce, NFS representatives from Vanaspati Manufacturers Association and senior officers attended the meeting.

On the occasion, Secretary Industries apprised the committee on the stock position of the edible oil in the country and updated on the import situation of edible oil from Indonesia and Malaysia.

It was informed that sufficient stock of edible oil was available in the country and edible oil tankers from Malaysia and Indonesia, arriving during this month, would improve the stock position and support in stabilizing the price.

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It was also informed that Minister for Industries and Production was leaving for Indonesia to hold important talks with Indonesian authorities in this regard. Meanwhile, Rana Tanveer Hussain stressed the representatives of Vanaspati Manufacturers Association to visit their prices and contribute in reducing the prices for the support of common man.

Separately, Miftah said that as the agriculture sector development was on top of the government’s agenda, it decided to withdraw duties and taxes on different agriculture implements, including seeds and agro-machinery.

He reaffirmed the government’s firm commitment to upgrade and uplift local agriculture sector on modern lines and provide special incentives on farm mechanization in order to enhance per-acre output of all major and minor crops to fulfill the local needs.

Addressing the post-budget press conference, the minister said the government had proposed special relief in taxes and duties on different agriculture implements and machinery to promote and develop the agriculture sector.

The government, he said, allocated Rs21 billion in the federal budget 2022-23 to increase crops yield, besides uplifting the livestock sector.

The minister said the Ministry of National Food Security and Research and Planning Ministry in consultation with the provinces had also devised a three-year strategy for the agriculture development. The strategy was aimed at dealing with the impact of climate change challenges on the agriculture sector, besides enhancing the production of all major and minor crops, oil seeds and pulses for the prosperity of farming communities across the country and to achieve sustainable agriculture growth.

The other objective of the initiative, he added, was to promote smart agriculture for achieving self-sufficiency in agri produces, besides value addition and agro processing to make the sector more profit oriented and competitive in local as well as international markets. The minister said the government had also proposed to withdraw sales tax on the agriculture inputs and farm machinery, including tractors and other implements, besides different seeds, including maize, canola and sunflower and rice, were also exempted from the sales tax.

Miftah Ismail said the government had also introduced relief measures on agriculture farm machinery and logistics. The custom duty on agriculture machinery used for irrigation, drainage, cultivation and harvesting was withdrawn, he added.

The machinery related to harvesting and crop processing, green house farming and plants conservation, and other instruments was also exempted from the custom duty, he added.

Besides, the material used in agriculture industrial units and machinery manufacturing were also exempted from the custom duty, the minister said.


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