ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin on Monday said that in the history of the country first time the incumbent government was introducing small loan schemes for farmers and traders. Talking to a private TV channel, he said that these schemes were aimed to promote agriculture sector, adding that all these loans would be offered without any mark up. These loans would make the farmers able to purchase the small machinery, seeds and pesticides. To a question, he said that unfortunately there was no trend in banking sector to provide small loans. The minister said the government was taking various steps to eliminate poverty, adding that already the government has offered subsidies of billions of rupees for the common people. “We need to make Pakistan food sufficient and for this purpose, we need to focus agriculture,” said Tarin, vowing to bring reforms for the agriculture sector. He said that COVID-19 caused huge trouble for the government and now the governments debts have fallen down. Shaukat Tarin has challenged to the former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for open debate over current fiscal budget 2021-22 and its circumstances. The finance minster also suggested to Abbasi to get clarified about the things before commenting on that. He said the incumbent government has collected Rs 25 billion from 312,000 new tax payers. The business community has also hailed the fiscal budget, he mentioned and added that the government wanted to make power sector functional in order to increase foreign investment. The government was trying to increase the export upto USD 30 billion. Tarin said the government faced waves of coronavirus. “During the coronavirus pandemic, 12 million families had been provided financial assistance through Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program,” he mentioned. He claimed that the per capita income had been increased by 15 percent despite the coronavirus pandemic. “We have overcome the current account deficit. A record increase of 25 per cent has been made in remittances. We face the challenge of inflation,” he declared. The minister said that exports witnessed a 14 percent increase.