Govt pursuing vision to double farmers’ income: PM

Web DeskWeb Editor

12th Aug, 2021. 12:05 pm
Prime Minister Imran Khan AJK visit

BAHAWAPUR: Describing farmers as an ‘asset’ for the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that the present government was following a vision to double their income to achieve higher economic growth, ensure food security and check poverty and inflation.

“We have a vision to double the income of farmers. They will invest their income in agriculture, which will benefit Pakistan and help reduce poverty, decrease prices of food items and check price hikes,” Imran Khan said, while addressing the Kissan Convention.

The prime minister mentioned with pride that owing to the government’s policy enhancing support prices of various agricultural crops, including wheat, sugarcane and maize, the growers secured Rs1.1 trillion of additional income during the previous fiscal years.

He also said with the initial two years spent on economic stabilisation due to various inherited challenges on the economic front, the government had finally put the country on the path of economic recovery and achieved around 4 per cent GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth during the fiscal year 2020/21.

The prime minister also launched the provincial government’s Kissan Card Scheme during the convention, which was also addressed by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for National Food Security Jamshed Iqbal Cheema.

Prime Minister Khan said that as farmers were the country’s precious asset, today’s Kissan Convention will send a clear message that the country will move forward by helping the farmers.

With a mere 26,000 growers having the agricultural lands of over 125 acres each, the country has around 8.4 million of hardworking small farmers, who were the core of this country, as well as the agriculture sector.

The prime minister said that contrary to the past, when the sugarcane growers had to sell their produce at lower rates due to exploitation by the powerful sugar mill-owners, the growers this year got higher prices and earned extra profits due to the passage of a law, which bounded the sugar mill-owners to start crushing of the produce at particular dates.

He said due to the record production of wheat, sugar, rice and maize this year, the growers earned Rs1.1 billion of extra income.

The prime minister said the unprecedented higher sales of motorcycles in the rural areas also depicted an increase in the income of farmers.

He; however, said that the growth in the country’s agricultural produce did not match with the population growth, which went up from 40 million (West Pakistan) in 1947 to 225 million, at present.

Despite a bumper wheat crop, the country had to import 4 million tonnes of wheat to cater to the needs of the people.

The prime minister stressed the need for enhanced research and development in agriculture to achieve higher production of various crops, adding that Pakistan, which has been bestowed by the Allah Almighty with 12 climatic zones had a lot of potential in the agriculture sector and could grow all agricultural commodities by using advanced technology and adopting modern techniques not only for the local consumption but for the exports, as well.

The premier referred to the principles of the State of Madina, introduced by the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) for the uplift of poor and said that China by adopting the similar principles lifted its people out of poverty during the last 35 years.

The provision of Kissan Cards by the provincial government to the farmers in Punjab will help them get direct subsidies on various agricultural inputs.

The PTI governments in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan will also be asked to follow the Kissan Card scheme, he added.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the introduction of health card scheme in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, as his government’s major achievement for the provision of health insurance coverage to the masses under which a family had Rs1 million free-of-charge health facility from any public or private hospital for a year.

Prime Minister Khan said that even before coming into politics, he used to think if he got a chance to serve the country he would introduce the health insurance scheme, adding that the universal health insurance scheme introduced by the government was not available even in the rich countries.

He also mentioned the construction of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospitals in Lahore and Peshawar and said 70 per cent of the cancer patients were treated free-of-charge at the hospitals.

The prime minister said he got the idea of constructing a free cancer hospital after his mother suffered from the disease and he felt that how the poor could afford the expensive treatment of such a disease.

He assured that the federal, as well as the provincial government will extend every possible support to the farmers to bring about prosperity in the country and for the wellbeing of the people in the rural areas.

He also presented shields to Islamia University Bahawalpur (IUB) vice chancellor Dr Prof Athar Mehboob, Dr Prof Iqbal and Dr Ali for their services in the field of agricultural research and development.

Adsence 300X250