ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar discussed ways and means for the uplift of agriculture sector in aid with the provincial governments and also finalised subsidy disbursement mechanism with all agriculture ministers of the four provinces.

The finance minister was chairing a meeting to discuss the modalities for implementation of relief measures for agriculture sector announced in the budget 2016-17.

Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, provincial finance and agriculture ministers of Punjab and Sindh and senior officials of relevant ministries participated in the meeting.

It was decided that the subsidy on fertilisers would be provided through a joint federal and provincial package for farmers. The meeting also discussed other agriculture related measures and decided to continue close liaison and coordination for countrywide impact on the agriculture sector.

The finance minister stated that the government had given due priority to the agriculture sector in the budget. He hoped that the measures announced by the federal government will be complemented by the provincial governments with a view to ensure that the decline in agricultural growth is reversed and the sector achieves a healthy growth rate in accordance with its potential.

He referred to the decrease in fertiliser prices by the industry and stated that it was made possible after lengthy negotiations with the manufacturers. He urged the provincial governments to continue with a spirit of cooperation for the promotion of the vital agriculture sector.

The provincial ministers welcomed the measures announced by the federal government and stated that the provincial governments were equally keen to provide support to the farmers, who had been facing a difficult situation due to falling commodity prices and high cost of inputs.