Monday, 17 November 2014

Paddy, sugarcane, cotton growers: KBP urges government to announce new support prices

Kisan Board Pakistan (KBP) has urged the government to immediately announce new support price for paddy, sugarcane and cotton growers with upward revision in line with increase in the input prices, withdrawal of agricultural income tax and exempting agricultural inputs from the sales tax.

These demands were raised by the KBP leaders in protest demonstrations arranged by its members throughout the country on the call of KBP Central President Sardar Zafar Ahmad Khan to observe November 17, as protest day. KBP leaders also urged the government to declare flood affected areas as calamity hit. According to the information reached here, KBP members staged sit-in and protests at all the district headquarters in all the four provinces to condemn the anti-farmer policies of the government.

They were carrying banners and placards inscribed with their demands such as withdrawal of agricultural income tax, revising upward cotton, sugarcane and paddy prices and exempting agricultural inputs from GST. KBP Lahore President Mian Rasheed Minhala, Vice President Chaudhry Bashir Warraich, General Secretary Sardar Irfan Ullah Padhana and others said that flood had badly damaged the growers and they do not even have sufficient funds to buy inputs for wheat crop. They said area of 260,000 acres under paddy sowing was damaged during the last flood. They said that now paddy was being sold at the lower rates of Rs 1400 per maund while input cost is around Rs 1500 per maund. They urged the government to fix paddy prices at Rs 3000 per maund to eliminate the unrest found among the growers.

Meanwhile growers from Kasur, Sheikhupura and Gujranwala staged protests and submit their charter of demand to DCOs concerned. Similarly a big rally was taken out in Hafizabad, Sialkot, Khushab, Mianwali, Bhakkar and other areas of Punjab and other provinces. According to Secretary Information KBP Haji Muhammad Ramzan growers also held a press conference in Sahiwal and they demanded withdrawal of agricultural income tax and GST on agri inputs. KBP Central President Sardar Zafar Ahmad Khan has urged the government to consult all representative organisations of growers to resolve problems of the farmers.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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