Devolution of agri subject still hanging

STAFF REPORT IBD: Despite approval of the 18th Amendment in the parliament with emphasis on devolution of agriculture subject to provinces, the fate of agriculture subject is still hanging in the balance.

Eight subjects which had became redundant have been abolished and 15 major functions of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MinFA) have been separated and distributed among the federal ministries and departments and there is no actual devolution of the agriculture subject has taken place to the provinces.

The reason explained in this regard by the officials is decisions relating to import and export of agriculture commodities, policy making for agriculture sector, incentivisation of agriculture sector on equal basis conducting research extension of this research to farmers needs it to maintain agriculture subject at federal level.

The official sources explained with the creation of Federal Ministry for Food Security at federal level and no devolution of major functions to provinces have proved a faulty decision making on the agriculture subject.

Similarly the distribution of water for agriculture is federal subject with Indus River System Authority as federal regulator and this is vital for ensuring equal opportunities for each federating unit to get due share of water for its agriculture with involvement of centre for ensuring food security at national level.

The Constitution of Pakistan is still silent on the issue of agriculture, weather it would remain with centre or to be transferred to the provinces, said the official sources.

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