ISLAMABAD: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has urged the government to take up the agricultural sector’s subsidy issue at the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting to be held in Nairobi the coming week.
Standing Committee on Horticulture and Agriculture Produce, Chairman Ahmad Jawad said that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) condition to end subsidies for the agriculture sector has adversely affected the country’s exports. The federation asked the government to renegotiate its terms with the IMF to allow subsidy on agriculture production, which will enable Pakistan to compete with other countries.
Jawad also urged the government to raise the issue of subsidy at the WTO ministerial meeting in Nairobi this month as the WTO had allowed countries to subsidise the farming sector for a limited period to ensure food security.
He also criticised the government for not consulting the private sector before going to the WTO ministerial meeting. “The issues are being dealt with a bureaucratic mindset and stakeholders are not being taken on board,” he expressed concerns.
Unlike China, Turkey, India, Malaysia and other countries, Pakistani business sector was not made a part of the policymaking process, he said.
He alleged that the government was partly responsible for the falling exports due to its economic policies. “Global recession has a bigger role in the country’s trade decline, but the government policies further provided impetus to this phenomenon,” he added.
The FPCCI body chief said other countries were supporting their agriculture sectors with subsidies. He noted that the soaring cost of doing business and currency devaluation were other factors that contributed to dwindling exports.
News source: The Express Tribune