Lahore: Provincial Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Malik Ahmad Ali has said that farmers are in a miserable condition due to anti-farmer and poor policies of the federal government. He said that miseries of the farmer are further increased with the imposition of sales tax on agri inputs.
He expressed these views while addressing a public meeting . Expressing disappointment over the increase of tax on agri-inputs, Provincial Minister said that farmers are facing problems due to this step of the federal government which is exploiting them besides ruining the agri sector. He said that farmers are facing problems like shortage of water, diesel, electricity and expensive fertilizer which fall under the authority of federal government. He said that government has no mechanism of fixing the price of fertilizers and their prices are increased through SMS on mobile phones. Malik Ahmad Ali said that artificial shortage is being created under a self-made system and the commission mafia is earning billions of rupees through import of fertilizers.
The Minister said that rulers are leading luxurious life through by loot and plunder in the loans of World Bank and IMF and contrary to it, Punjab government is taking practical steps for the progress and development of agri sector. He said that after coming into power, the Punjab government has made revolutionary changes in the Agriculture Research Board. He said that 53 projects have been approved for development of bio-technology and bio-engineering for which an amount of two billion rupees has been released. He said that Research Board has prepared 80 varieties of seeds for different crops which include eight verities of seeds of BT Cotton. He said that as a result of introducing new variety of seed, one crore twenty lakh bales had been produced last year which is a record. He further said that a subsidy of six billion rupees has been provided to the farmers for the purchase of 30000 tractors and flat rates of Aabiana have been maintained besides starting a campaign against adulteration mafia. The Minister said that government is spending Rs.36 billion for development of agriculture sector under Punjab Agriculture Productivity Improvement Programme.