BADIN: Sindh Minister for Agriculture Mohammad Ismail Rahu on Sunday said the provincial government would take the issue of adequate water for Rabi crops to all available forums if its due share was denied.

Speaking to local reporters in his native town, Rahuki, the minister deplored the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) for allowing installation of a power plant on the Chashma-Jhelum link canal despite strong reservations expressed by Sindh. He also condemned the federal government for its “complicity” in the matter.

The minister asked the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government to mend its ways and stop meting out step-motherly treatment with smaller federating units.

He told Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) workers, gathered around him, that there was no threat to the provincial government from PTI’s moves to dislodge it. He said PTI did not have the mandate to rule over the province and deprive the people of Sindh of their legitimately elected leadership.

He said the federal government was doing all this to create unrest among the people of Sindh who were opposing all its negative decisions. Mr Rahu said that the Sindh government, despite limited resources at its disposal, was doing its best to address pressing issues of people.

The minister also held a meeting with paddy growers and rice millers to discuss their issues and take a decision on a fair rate and weight deduction.

He sided with paddy growers on the weight issue saying that it was unfair to effect deduction of three-five kilos in each consignment on the pretext of moisture. Being a grower, he said, he wanted growers to get a fair rate of their crop as well. “The same is my approach in the case of sugar cane growers and sugar mills’ owners in their similar dispute,” Mr Rahu said.

He held out the assurance that he would be able to get the disputes settled amicably.

He said he had already directed the officials concerned to keep in touch with growers and millers to ensure that growers got fair rates of their crop.

He said it would be better for both sides to sit together and sort out their issues.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2019