The government has shelved plans to import about 10,000 tractors under the Benazir Tractor Scheme (BTS) and decided that only locally made tractors would be provided to the farmers at subsidised rates under this scheme. This was stated by Federal Minister for Industries and Production Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo while talking to vice president PAPAAM Tariq Nazir during a meeting in Islamabad.

The auto parts manufacturers and vendor industry has urged the government to immediately announce modalities of subsidised Benazir Tractor scheme involving national tractor industry as its producer which would save foreign exchange of Rs 4 billion besides generating thousands jobs for the locals.

Ravinder Sood

Palampur, May 12
Despite the fact that the state government has restricted the use of tractors to agricultural purposes only. In Palampur, a large number of tractors are engaged in mining, quarrying, extraction of sand stone and transporting quarrying material from local streams and rivers to different towns.

The automobile industry has welcomed launch of Benazir Tractor Scheme by the Federal Government but has opposed import of tractors as the local auto industry has the capacity to meet all domestic demands. It may be recalled that the Federal Cabinet approved the scheme at a cost of Rs 4 billion for providing 20,000 tractors to the farmers at concessional rates.

Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), an apex body of chambers in the country on Sunday expressed grave concern on importing 20,000 tractors, that is causing colossal loss to local industry.

A combination of domestic and external factors have resulted in a decline of nearly six per cent in large-scale manufacturing output during the first half of 2008-09 and a sharp drop in exports in recent months, says the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest report available on Tuesday.

Further investment in tractor industry is linked to stable government policy that provides at least level playing field to the local manufacturers instead of periodically facilitating tractor imports on concession.

Punjab government has launched "green tractor scheme" with an objective to promote agriculture sector and in this regard application/form process is in progress across the province. According to agriculture sources, the government will deliver tractors to small farmers at subsidised rates and for this purpose the government will offer subsidy of Rs 0.2 million per tractor, a private television channel reported.

To invest over Rs. 250 crore in the next three years

NEW DELHI: New Holland Tractors India will invest over Rs. 250 crore in the next three years to expand its production as well as presence in the country. The company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Case New Holland (CNH), would open its spare parts depot early next year to facilitate its customer.

CNH Chief Executive Officer Franco Fusignani said here on Monday that the new depot would make spare parts easily available to its customers.

The Punjab government has revived the green tractor scheme under which Rs 01 million will be given as subsidy to the small farmers for the purchase of a tractor. The government has allocated Rs 1 billion to provide subsidy on purchase of 10,000 green tractors in the 2008-09 budget. Only holders of upto twelve and a half acres agriculture land will be eligible to benefit from this scheme. Green tractors will be given through balloting of applicants to make the system transparent and judicious.