Benefit of package must trickle down to the underprivileged: SM Muneer
Three trade associations of South Punjab on Monday asked leadership of the United Business Group to monitor prime minister’s agriculture package so that small growers can benefit from it.
Khanewal Chamber of Commerce, Pakistan Crops Protection Association and All Pakistan Seed Association have asked UBG the Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik and Patron-in-Chief SM Muneer to ensure transparent implementation of the package. The demand came at a time when UBG leaders have embarked on a visit to South Punjab to muster support in the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) elections for their candidate Abdul Rauf Alam.
Speaking on the occasion, Crops Association’s Haji Atta-ur-Rehman said that all the trade associations present would support the UBG candidate. He said that privileged class must not be allowed to take full benefit of the package and that UBG leadership should play their role in it.
Iftikhar Ali Malik and SM Muneer said that the Rs 341 billion package was designed to bail out farmers suffering from multiple issues. They said that we would ensure that the benefits of the move reach all the intended recipients in a quick and transparent manner.
The UBG leaders said that agricultural growth which was 2.9 per cent last year would increase and that would benefit the rural economy. They said that they government is fully aware of issues like increasing input prices, hiccups in urea distribution, influence of middlemen, lack of loans, provision of quality seed, and fake pesticides, and that it is trying resolve them.
Rs 20 billion subsidy on urea would bring down the price which would increase its application to boost output, they noted.
FPCCI presidential candidate Abdul Rauf Alam said that the rural economy must be linked to the industry and storage facilities be upgraded so that value addition could assist all the stakeholders.
“I will personally look into the issue and try to get more relaxations for farmers in the time to come,” he promised.
He said that after being elected as FPCCI president he would give priority to the issues being faced by business community in South Punjab.
FPCCI Vice President Hameed Akhtar Chadda, UBG Secretary General Zubair Tufail and FPCCI Media Chairman Malik Sohail were also present on the occasion.