Provincial Minister for Trade & Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal has disclosed that Punjab government has decided to increase the support price of wheat and sugarcane crops to safeguard farmers’ interests. The new support prices of wheat and sugarcane will be Rs1365 per maund and Rs190 per maund, respectively. The farmers will get a colossal benefit of more than Rs40 billion due to this increase.
He stated this while addressing the press conference at DGPR office here on Friday along with Agriculture Minister Nauman Akhtar Langrial and Food Minister Sami Ullah Chaudhry. Mian Aslam Iqbal said that support prices of wheat and sugarcane were not increased during the last five years. The incumbent government has decided to increase the support prices of wheat and sugarcane keeping in view the difficulties being faced by the farmers due to increase in production cost of these crops. He pointed out that provision of financial reward of sugarcane farmers’ hard work has been ensured and no one was allowed to exploit them. Last year, sugarcane crop worth Rs.138 billion was procured from the farmers and an amount of Rs137.40 billion was given to them as payment which is an important step.
The minister said that farmers will get a benefit of Rs29 billion due to Rs10 increase in sugarcane support price. Proper reward of farmers’ hard work will be ensured this year as well. He announced that soft loans will also be provided to the farmers having less than 12.5 acres land. Mian Aslam Iqbal said that a vigorous campaign has been launched against hoarding and illegal profiteering. As a result, prices of essential items have been stabilized. The 20 kg flour bag is available at Rs808 while the rate of sugar is Rs70. Ghee of different brands is available from Rs140 to Rs180 per kg, he added.
Replying to the media questions, the minister said that Pakistan has wriggled out of the difficult economic situation adding that Pakistan has been saved from being declared as bankrupt under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He regretted that past rulers ruined the economy and pointed out that Maryam Nawaz erroneously tweeted about this sagging economic situation by considering it as a report about the present tenure of PTI government.
He said the farmers are provided an opportunity of directly selling their agri. produce at 32 model bazaars in the whole of province adding that work has been started to expand this paraphernalia to the level of tehsils. Autonomous price control authority is also being established having representation of experts from agriculture and economic sectors.
To a question, he said that powers of the chief minister have been given to provincial ministers and ministers are deputed to implement chief minister’s vision and policy while the relevant departments ensure implementation.
Provincial Minister Sami Ullah Chaudhry said that 85 percent farmers have less than 12.5 acres land in Punjab adding that interest of small farmers is being protected by the government. Agriculture Minister Nauman Akhtar Langrial said that 42 percent farmers belong to Punjab who fulfill food needs of 58 percent non-farmers. 4.32 lakh bags of certified seeds have been distributed among the farmers and farmer-friendly policies are being introduced as well, the minister concluded.