ECC Likely To Approve Rs. 7,000 Cotton Support Price

Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Bashir Cheema Wednesday said that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet will fix the minimum support price for cotton at Rs. 7,000 per maund in the next meeting,

After the 18th Amendment, agriculture is a provincial subject and the federal government has no say in the sector, the minister said while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research which met with Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah in the chair.

The committee was given a briefing regarding cotton production and support prices. The ministry officials informed the committee that at present, the price of cotton in the open market is around Rs. 12,000 per mound.

The committee recommended that the national food security ministry should determine the correct procedure for fixing the support price, estimated cost of production per acre, and fix the price in consultation with all stakeholders. The committee also recommended the formation of a cotton board in the ministry.

Briefing the committee, the federal minister said that after the 18th Amendment it was realized that food security was a federal matter. The food security ministry was formed after the 18th amendment keeping in view the food security issues, said Cheema. The minister clarified that the ministry is only concerned with the issue of national food security, however, it is often wrongly assumed that the ministry looks after the agriculture sector.

The committee sought details on the budget allocation received by the ministry. The parliamentary panel also asked for submitting details of the budget used by the ministry and related departments.

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