ISLAMABAD: Federal Minis­ter for Water Reso­urces and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Syed Khursheed Shah on Sunday criticised Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for not attending sessions of the parliament. He said that bringing a revolution in the country’s agriculture sector is the “permanent solution of the prevailing economic crisis”.

In a statement, Mr Shah, who has served as the leader of the opposition in the Nati­onal Assembly in the last Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), said: “Like former prime minister Imran Khan, Shehbaz Sharif does not attend sessions of the parliament.”

“We have not given due respect to parliament. The former prime minister also did not attend its sessions. Today our brother prime minister also does not turn up in the parliament,” he added.

The PPP leader said politicians and institutions should ask this question from themselves that why the country is facing multiple problems today. “We have a constitution, but we marred it as we have maltreated our economy. Not only a single, but all previous governments are responsible for the current crippling economy,” he added.

The PPP leader urged all political leaders to shun their differences and sit together to find best possible solutions of the problems confronting the country. “We have to sit together to save the country which is under the burden of heavy debts and unprecedented inflation,” he added.

He criticised Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan for holding public meetings. “If Imran Khan believes that holding public meetings will bring any good to the country then he may continue with this,” he added.

Khursheed Shah said development in the agricultural sector was the only remedy of the prevailing crisis. “We were prospering when we were producing nothing but had a strong agriculture base,” he added.

Mr Shah urged the government to increase the support price of basic crops of the country. “Increase support price of cotton to Rs8,000 per 40kg, wheat Rs3,000 and mustard Rs7,000 per 40kg. Framers can happily buy a urea bag at Rs3,000 instead of Rs1,700. Withdraw subsidy of gas being supplied to urea factories and increase tax on cigarettes as by doing so additional Rs200 billion tax can be collected,” he added.

The PPP leader said that an agricultural revolution was the only way to overcome the economic crisis in the country on a permanent basis. “We can get rid of the IMF by improving our agriculture base,” he added.

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2022

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