The national food security and research ministry has launched a mark-up subsidy scheme under the fiscal package announced by the prime minister for the agriculture sector to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“An amount of Rs6.861 billion would be spent on 10 per cent mark-up subsidy on the agriculture loans disbursed by the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL),” according to an official statement issued on Sunday. The scheme is valid all over the country, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, it added.
The government would bear mark-up of 10% on agricultural loan for the fiscal year 2020-21 (July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021), and an individual farmer shall bear the balance mark-up as per the agreed terms. “Farmers up to 12.5 acres of landholding with the passbook as collateral are eligible,” it stated. The subsidy shall also be available on the date of full payment of the loan or the due date, or up to June 30, 2021, whichever is earlier.
In case of default, it added that the borrower shall be liable to pay the applicable mark-up for the defaulted period. All agri-loans (production and development) falling under as per the above criteria are eligible. Farmers are advised to contact the nearest ZTBL branch for the adjustment of the subsidy against their loans.
The national food ministry has also launched a cotton whitefly subsidy scheme wherein an amount of Rs6 billion would be spent as subsidy on purchase of whitefly related pesticides.
Further, a subsidy at the rate of Rs300 per pack of pesticide meant for whitefly is being offered. The subsidy would be Rs300 per application at an average of four applications per acre and would cover five million acres in Punjab and Sindh, which is around 80% of the cotton area. The scheme is operational and cotton growers are advised to purchase subsidised pesticides, which are available in the market.