Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, President Punjab PPP, has said here today quoting former President and Co- Chairman Asif Ali Zardari as having decided to challenge the decision of the Sindh High Court in the Supreme Court of Pakistan as it was exceedingly against the interests of the sugarcane growers.
He said that the Co- Chairman told him prior to his departure to Karachi from Lahore yesterday regarding the instructions to the legal team of the PPP to prepare the petition to challenge the Sindh High Court decision in the Supreme Court of Pakistan
It may be pointed out that the Government of Sindh had to notify the sugarcane price at the rate of Rs. 152 per 40 kg to comply with the decision of the High Court.
Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo disclosed that there was an understanding between the government of Sindh and the representatives of the sugarcane growers to fix the price of sugarcane around Rs. 180 per 40 kg.
Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo said that the PPP was known for the pro- farmer policies and the track record of the PPP governments in the past amply testified the fact beyond any shadow of doubt.
He recalled that the PPP previous government during its first year increased the wheat price from Rs. 625 to 950, which was unprecedented. The result was that Pakistan became the wheat surplus country the same year instead of wheat deficit country. It had to spend millions of dollars in foreign exchange to import the commodity, he added.
He pointed out with regret that the cotton, paddy and basmati growers were also undergoing testing times at present because the market prices of these commodities had crashed due to the indifferent attitude of the present government. The cotton price during PPP regime was around five thousand and now merely Rs. 2200, Basmati rice during PPP government was more than 2000 rupees per forty kg and now Rs. 1200 and paddy in PPP government was more than one thousand and now Rs. 750.
He pointed out that the main culprit for this was the government because it did not authorize the Trading Corporation Of Pakistan(TCP) to buy the commodities to stabilize the prices in the market to secure the interests of the growers.
He added that due to the delayed decision of the government the middle man had become active and was buying rice and cotton at prices fixed by him unilaterally, and the growers were forced to sell because they had to meet the debt obligations on time.
Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo demanded that who were responsible for the delayed decision should be taken to task for depriving the farmers from the dividends of their sweat and toil. They were instrumental of benefiting the hoarders at the expense of farmers, he added.