LAHORE: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has decided to reschedule its farmers’ solidarity show by confining it to Okara district in the first phase fearing the en masse absence of its parliamentarians from the National Assembly to organise the protests in their respective areas will provide the government with a chance to pass the supplementary finance bill.

“We’ve reshaped our protest plan so that the government may not exploit the absence of our MNAs from the parliament and get the mini-budget passed,” Punjab PPP general secretary and member of the tractor march organizing committee Syed Hassan Murtaza said.

He says now the tractor march will be held in Okara in Sahiwal division on Jan 21 and the protest rallies in other divisions across the country will be taken out later on.

He says that in divisions like Sargodha where district headquarters are located far off from the divisional headquarters, the workers have been allowed to hold their rallies at the district level.

He says that all farmer bodies have been approached for the tractor march and they have assured their full support for the cause of showing solidarity with the growers facing multiple issues, including shortage of fertilizers, due to ‘flawed’ policies of the incumbent government.

He says the PPP will resist the privatization of seed research centres and criticized the government for damaging the agriculture sector.

Mr Murtaza has also moved the Punjab Assembly on the issue of black marketing of fertilizers by submitting an adjournment motion with the assembly secretariat.

He claims that the wheat-growers are being forced to pay Rs1,000 per bag extra to get urea fertilizer, all the more necessary for the crop.

He says that the farmers are being made to line up in long queues to get a couple of fertilizer bags at officially prescribed rates.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2022

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