May 4, 2022

The government may soon reduce electricity tariffs for the agricultural sector

ISLAMABAD: The government should soon announce a reduction in electricity tariffs for the agricultural sector.

National Food Security and Research Minister Syed Fakhr Imam said at a meeting here on Friday that the Energy Ministry was in the process of forwarding a summary to the cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), proposing new electricity tariffs for the agricultural sector.

Mr. Imam said the problem would be solved in collaboration with the provincial governments, because after the 18th amendment, most of the components of the agricultural sector fell under the provincial domain.

The meeting brought together the representatives of producer associations and progressive farmers, the agricultural secretaries of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and government officials from Sindh and Balochistan.

This was the second meeting on issues facing the farming community and it was decided that such meetings would be held fortnightly.

The agricultural community has long been concerned about the rising cost of electricity and are calling on the government to introduce preferential electricity tariffs for the agricultural sector, which would help increase the yield per acre of various crops.

Progressive farmers have expressed concern over the withdrawal of concessions on several agricultural inputs and produce, while farmers belonging to South Punjab have raised the issue of water scarcity and its theft.

Farmers and producers demanded at the meeting that the fuel price adjustment on agricultural tubewell electricity bills be spread over the whole year with a flat rate.

Posted in Dawn, February 19, 2022