Govt pursuing anti-farmer policy: Wattoo



The government is pursuing the anti-farmer policy in particular and anti-poor policy in general to benefit capitalists, whose greed and avarice are limitless, said PPP leader Manzoor Wattoo in a statement issued on Friday.
He was commenting on the press reports in which Federal Minister Sikandar Bosan was quoted as saying that the government was not contemplating to increase the wheat support price.
He demanded that the wheat support price should be enhanced to Rs 1,500 per 40kg in view of the expensive inputs, including the increased electricity tariff, adding that the concession in the power rates given to the farmers by the previous government had been withdrawn as part of the IMF conditional ties.
He called upon the government to make adequate arrangements for providing wheat flour to the poor urban population on subsidized rates in order to ensure them food security.
He pointed out that the livelihood of more than two thirds of population living in the rural areas depended on agriculture and the irrational agriculture policy would hurt a large segment of the population of the country thus grossly defying the imperatives of social justice.
He asked the government to introduce the policy that benefits the local growers instead of making heavy payments to the farmers of foreign countries where from the wheat would be imported.
He recalled that during the previous PPP democratic government the country produced enough wheat throughout its period and surplus commodity was exported to earn foreign exchange instead of spending the same for the import of wheat.
He said that it was only due to pro-farmer policy of the PPP government that led to not only to attain self-sufficiency in wheat production but also millions of tons of the commodity was exported after meeting the domestic requirements and up keeping of the strategic reserves.