ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research on Wednesday formed a sub-committee to look into the question whether the agricultural credit is disbursed in accordance with targets set by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) or there are any difficulties in implementation of the directives of the central bank.

The matter was raised by Senator Mohsin Legahri stating non-availability of agricultural credits is main hindrance for small growers. The sub-committee constituted will be convened by Senator Mohsin Leghari with Senators Hamza and Zafarullah Dhahndla as its members. The sub-committee will be examining the issue of disbursements of agricultural credits by ZTBL and other banks whether the targets of disbursements of agricultural credits are being met, whether said disbursements are equitable among geographical areas and whether these agricultural credits reach the doorsteps of small growers.

The meeting held under the chair of Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah also discussed the supplementary question referred to the committee by the House on the issue of movement/restriction of fertiliser (urea) in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The meeting was told by the National Food Security secretary that there is no restriction on part of the ministry and the matter needs to be taken up with federal interior ministry and provincial home departments. The committee chairman asked the secretary to write these authorities as well as get feedback from urea distributors and manufacturers about their view on the matter and submit a report to the committee within a week.

Regarding regularisation of petition officials of project titled, 'Up-gradation & Establishment of Animal Quarantine Stations', the committee directed the Ministry of National Food Security to communicate the progress to the project employees asking them to follow the devised procedure. The committee was also given details about the assessment of cotton crop in Sindh and Punjab for the year 2017. It was said to be 12.6 million bails out of which 8.8 million bales are expected from Punjab and 3.7 million bales from Sindh.