Prime Minister fixes Rs 8,500 as support price for cotton


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday fixed Rs 8,500 per 40 kg as the support price for cotton in a major step to ease cotton farmers.

He directed that the matter be referred to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) as a matter of priority. The prime minister, who chaired the meeting of the working group on agriculture, urged the provinces to ensure the implementation of the decision on cotton prices. He called cotton the backbone of Pakistan’s textile sector and expressed confidence that the move would support farmers.

Emphasizing the importance of cotton in earning foreign exchange, Prime Minister Shehbaz said that the government would provide all possible assistance to the provinces and measures were being taken to increase cotton production per hectare.

He directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to prepare proposals for increasing cotton productivity. It was recalled at the meeting that the cotton yield was significantly reduced last year due to massive floods, incessant rains, shortage of irrigation channels and fertilizer crisis.

This year, however, total cotton production was estimated at 12.77 million bales, indicating a sharp increase over previous years “as a result of government policies.”

The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Qamar, National Food Security Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema, Punjab Interim Chief Minister Mohsin Raza Naqvi, Adviser to Prime Minister Ahad Cheema and other relevant officials.

Published in The Express Tribune on March 14th2023.

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