Finance Minister of Pakistan Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh met with several farming and industry stakeholders on Thursday 5th of September. The members of the Kisan Ittehad, textile millers and ginners, attended the meeting and the Finance Minister announced that the government would inject Rs250 billion in different projects to boost the Agricultural Sector.
The members in the meeting discussed that the cotton production of the country had been on a decline for a few years, due to lack of attention from the government. The cotton production declined from around 14 million bales to just 10.8 million bales, while the textile industry needed 15 million bales/ year. Amid this shortage, the textile industry had to rely on imported cotton, which led to the import of almost $1 billion worth of cotton last season.
The government is announcing an indicative cotton price of around Rs3800/40kg and this step is being taken for the wellbeing of farmers and for incentivizing them to invest more in their cotton crops to enhance output. The government has set a target to increase production of cotton this year by 2 million bales, so the local industry won’t have to rely on imported cotton.
Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh told the members that uplifting of the agricultural sector is the main focus of the government. He further added that through programs like these, the government is expecting the agricultural sector to grow by 3% for the next 5 years. He also said that the government is introducing more pro-business policies that will encourage foreign investments and facilitate business activities in the country.