ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said his government was enforcing agriculture emergency in the country to give maximum benefits to the growers and eradicate cartalisation.
“We are going for an agriculture emergency in the country to boost agro-yield that will help stablise the economy,” PM Khan said during a discussion with a group of farmers who called on him at the Prime Minister House.
During the meeting, farmers expressed gratitude over steps taken by the government to save farers for exploitation of agro-based industries specially “sugar mafia”. They appreciated PM Khan for his intervention, which led to the passage of Sugar Factories Control (Amendment) Act 2021 by the Punjab Assembly, giving a direct benefit of Rs80-90 billion to sugarcane growers in the province. On the occasion, the growers presented a number of proposals on upgrading the agriculture sector.
The prime minister reiterated his government’s commitment to support the agriculture sector for economic uplift. At the same time asked industrialists to avoid profiteering and cartelisation that embroils public in inflation.
“I firmly believe that the country would rise through the agriculture sector,” he said. The premier further stressed upon the industrialists to make profits, “but avoid profiteering”.
He asked them to not make cartels that ultimately burden the public with inflation. “I assure you the government will not let farmers be exploited and my team and I will keep in contact with you,” he added.
The prime minister said his government’s efforts had resulted in the timely payment for sugarcane crops to farmers during the crushing seasons which was not the case previously.
PM Khan said that he had asked his team to meet farmers and explore new innovations being employed by the world in the agriculture sector. “Until we modernise and upgrade our industries, we cannot move forward,” he added.
He said he grew up watching Pakistan’s rapid rise and also saw its quick decline due to ‘injustices’ in the country. “It is the law of the Almighty Allah that any nation that does justice to its people will rise and progress.”
The prime minister regretted that farmers were not getting their due share. “There is a mafia ruling in this sector and it is making the most of our corrupt system.”
He said corruption by rulers at the helm ultimately ruins the country. “And same is the story of all third world countries,” he added.
Mr Khan reiterated when corrupt leaders rule the roost, they make money and destroy the governance system, thus halting a country’s progress.
The prime minister said his government had confronted the sugar mafia which had threatened the FIA of triggering sugar shortage in the country if the investigation against them continued.
He insisted that the country would move upwards from that point on, adding that China had always extended its support for upgrading Pakistan’s agriculture sector.
Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2021