Projected lower growth rate in agriculture sector is proof of Govt’s anti- farmers policy: Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo

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The projection of the lower growth rate in the agriculture sector during the current financial year is the proof of the anti- farmers policy of the present government said Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo. President Punjab PPP, in a statement issued from here today.
Now the Punjab government officials are forcing the farmers with the intimidation of the local administration to sell their wheat to the government in order to meet the short fall of the wheat procurement target, he pointed out.
He said that the agriculture sector had registered down ward trends according to the official documents which were a bad news for rural economy where large chunk of county’s population lived. It happened due to the visible ill-will of the government towards farmers, he observed.
He said that the growth rate in agriculture sector 2013-2014 was 2.12 as against the target 3.8 per cent for the current financial year. It was lower than the growth rate achieved in the sector during the PPP government’s financial year of 2012-2013.
He pointed out that the figures clearly indicated the apathy of the government towards the agriculture sector and flawed development strategy of the government and consequently the determination of wrong priorities.

He reminded that about two thirds population of the country depended directly or indirectly on this sector as a source of employment and therefore the step motherly treatment was not justified even on social and economic grounds.
He further said that the agriculture sector was far less capital intensive as compared to the other sectors and yet the immediate benefits in terms of employment and boost to the agro-based industries would be phenomenal.
Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo said that the farmers of Pakistan had been facing the major brunt of the inflation as the inputs prices had gone up considerably and the trend had been hurting the community the hardest way in the absence of the support from the government. It had rather withdrawn the subsidies which were available to them during the PPP government.
He pointed out that the prices of inputs were the highest in Pakistan as compare to the other countries of the region and therefore the net result was the lower productivity in the agriculture sector.
He warned the government not to test the patience of the farmers and avoid putting them in a tight corner adding that government should give incentives to the farmers in the budget so that the backbone of the economy could get strength to back up the rest of the economy in meaningful manners.
He said that the PPP was committed to the cause of farmers and would not rest till their legitimate demands were met sooner than later.
02-6-2014

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