THIS is with reference to the letter ‘Feudal lords worsen Sindh water crisis’ (May 18). I have a few suggestions to bolster our agriculture sector for easing up our current financial crisis.
The government should let out 500,000 acres of agricultural lands to foreigners and overseas Pakistanis on a 10-year lease at, say, $10,000 per acre, against the payment of full rental upfront. The government can collect $5 billion from them.
The individuals given the lease may be allowed to import all agricultural machinery free of all duties and taxes. All agricultural inputs, like water, power, seed, insecticides, etc., may be arranged by them at their own cost.
They should be allowed to freely export agricultural produce obtained from the leased lands or sell in the local market as per their preference, free of duties and taxes. The security for the agricultural lands should be provided by the government at additional cost to the people with the leased land, if they so desire.
Only local labour force may be employed for these agricultural lands at government-approved rates of wages/salaries. Such a scheme can be imple-mented by the government quickly and can be expanded in the future, if need be.
Abad Ahmed Sabri
Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2022