ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of National Food Security and Research has launched a mark-up subsidy scheme under the fiscal package announced by the prime minister for the agriculture sector to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
An amount of Rs6.861 billion would be spent for 10 per cent mark-up subsidy on agriculture loans disbursed by Zarai Tarqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL). The scheme is valid all over the country, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, says a press release issued by the ministry on Sunday.
The federal government will bear the mark-up at the rate of 10 per cent on agricultural loans for the fiscal year 2020-21, while individual farmer will bear the balance mark-up as per agreed terms.
Farmers holding up to 12.5 acres of land with ‘Pass Book’ as collateral are eligible. The subsidy will also be available on the date of full payment of loan or the due date, or up to June 30, 2021, whichever is earlier.
In case of default, the borrower will be liable to pay applicable mark-up for the defaulted period. All agriculture loans, including production and development falling under this criteria, have been made eligible. Farmers have been advised to contact their nearest ZTBL branch for the adjustment of the subsidy against their loans.
The ministry has also launched a cotton whitefly subsidy scheme under the fiscal package announced by the prime minister. An amount of Rs6bn will be spent as subsidy on purchase of whitefly-related pesticides.
A subsidy at the rate of Rs300 per pack of pesticide meant for whitefly is being offered. The subsidy will be Rs300 per application at an average of four applications per acre and will cover five million acres in Punjab and Sindh, which have around 80pc of the cotton area.
The scheme is operational and cotton growers are advised to purchase subsidised pesticides which are available in the market.
Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2020