Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, President Punjab PPP, has welcomed yesterday’s decision of the Economic Co-ordination Committee(ECC) to withdraw duty on the export of potatoes. He said this in a statement issued from here today.
He said that the decision would earn big amount of foreign exchange for the country in view of the bumper crop of potatoes besides ensuring the handsome returns of the sweat and toil of the farmers of districts Okara, Pakpattan, Kasure and Sialkot, in particular.
He observed that the end domestic consumers would not be affected because the export of potatoes would be carried out after assessing the domestic requirements for which ECC had formed a Committee to monitor the demand and supply imperatives in the interests of the consumers and the farmers at the same time.
It may be recalled that Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, a day earlier, reminded the Finance Minister of his words regarding the withdrawal of the export duty on potatoes in a meeting of farmers’ representatives held in district Okara which was extensively covered in the local media.
He called upon the government to take other good decisions in favour of the farmers to dissipate the impression of this government as pursuing anti-farmers policy. He suggested that the Trading Corporation of Pakistan should be directed to immediately spring into action to purchase cotton from the open market in order to stabilize the prices in the market which at present were grossly detrimental to growers’ interests.
He reiterated his demand that the rice growers should be paid subsidy of Rs. 10,000 per acre because they had already sold their crop at the throw away prices in the wake of non-intervention of the government. There was no use of increasing the support price of rice now, he added.
He demanded the government to come to the rescue of the sugarcane growers who were the worst hit by the apathy of the government and the indifferent attitude of the sugar mill owners for manipulating the market to their advantages like delayed crushing, non-payments to the growers and purchasing the sugarcane at prices unilaterally fixed by them at will.
He urged upon the government to fix the price of sugarcane at Rs. 180 per forty kg and ensure its implementation as well.