A unanimous resolution was passed in a joint meeting of representatives of Pakistan Kissan Ittehad, farmers’ organizations and local farmers under the chair of Mian Manzoor Ahmed Watoo in Hujra Shah Moqeem, Disrict Okara today, in which government’s anti- Kissan policies were strongly criticised with the resolve to launch movement for the acceptance of their demands as a last resort.
Earlier, Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, President Punjab PPP, while addressing the participants urged the government to immediately withdraw25% export duty on the export of potatoes as promised by the Finance Minister. In its absence, the farmers of Okara, Pakpattan, Kasur and Sialkot would be devastated economically because local market prices were even below the cost of the production, he maintained.
He pointed out that the cotton growers had been badly hit due to the step-motherly treatment of the government because like delayed action to authorize the Trading Corporation of Pakistan(TDP) to buy cotton from the market to stabilize the prices. Today cotton is being sold at Rs. 2000 while its price during PPP previous government was more than Rs. 4000.
The Basmati growers’ plight was not different, he added, because they had to sell rice in the market at throw away price because the gap between demand and supply was huge against the farmers. He called upon the government to extend subsidy of Rs.ten thousand per acre to the rice growers as the increase of support price at this stage would not be in the benefit of farmers because they had already disposed off their crop at lower rates.
Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo observed that the miseries of the farmers’ community multiplied across the all spectrums of growers. The sugarcane growers were facing the mafias of sugar mills who with the connivance of the bureaucracy had scaled down the price of sugarcane from Rs. 180 to Rs 150 per forty KG. The delayed and partial payments to the growers had broken the back of the farmers who should be the backbone of the country’s economy.
Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo observed that decline in agriculture sector would hurt the country in many ways because about seventy per cent of the population was dependent, directly or indirectly, on agriculture. The patience of the farmers was tipping over the edges and the government better to satisfy the farmers urgently failing which it would face their wrath of unprecedented proportion.
Earlier, the farmers’ representatives strongly criticised the anti- farmers’ policies of the government and repented as why they had voted for the PML (N) government that cared less for them.
Those who were present included Milk Muhammad Ahmed, Sr. VP. Kissan Ittehad, Mian Mushataq Hussain Dogar,Moazzam Khan Wattoo, ex-MPA,Mohsin Khan,Mian Qadari,Sardar Haq Nawaz,Sardar Ali,Sardar Niaz Dogar,Ram Singh,Sardar Haq Nawaz,Mirza Hadiatullha,Ch. Shaukat,Mushtaq Ahmed Khokhar etc.