The federal cabinet on Wednesday has decided to provide Rs100 billion subsidy to agriculture sector to ameliorate the sufferings of farmers,
Briefing media persons, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information & Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said that Water and Power Division in a briefing told the cabinet when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government came to power, circular debt was very high which has been brought down by this government.
The cabinet was informed that Rs242 billion subsidy was given to protect consumers using up to 300 electricity units from fuel adjustment effects.
She said the industrial sector was given Rs 29 billion subsidy whereas Rs 100 billion subsidy is being given to agriculture sector.
She said the PM also directed the Water and Power Division to bring the summary of fixed billing for tube-well farmers in the next meeting.
The cabinet also asked the division to take steps for redressing consumers’ reservations about tampering with meters by Discos’ employees which results in additional burden on consumers.
The cabinet appreciated the performance of the Water and Power Division in controlling line losses and taking steps to introduce a regulatory mechanism in Discos, she said.
She said that the Oil and Gas Division informed the cabinet that it inherited Rs 181 billion deficit due to bad policies of the previous government but it formulated a structural plan to protect the consumers against major increase in gas bills.
She said the cabinet was informed that Rs10 billion subsidy was given to fertilizer industry to ensure stability in the prices of fertilizers.
She said the domestic consumers were given Rs19 billion subsidy in 2018-19 whereas the estimate of the subsidy for year 2019-2020 is Rs30 billion.
She said the Prime Minister has directed the uninterrupted gas supply to domestic consumers in winter.
Firdous Ashiq said the Oil and Gas Division was directed to activate its redundant meter manufacturing industry to reduce the extra cost of gas meters, being bought from the market.
She said that various ministers pointed out that a new legislation needs to be framed to stop glorifying those convicted from the court in corruption cases, especially those absconders who are sitting abroad.
She said that the Prime Minister has tasked the law minister to devise a strategy under the law to bar coverage of convicts and absconders by media.
“Unfortunately, those convicts and absconders who had looted public money are glorified in the media as they frequently appear on TV channels and claim themselves innocent and criticize the government and its policies,” Firdous further said.