(18th September 2015)
Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) on Friday lauded the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for announcing the relief package for farmers terming it necessary and timely step to bailout the farming community.
Government should ensure that the benefits of the move must reach the intended recipients in a quick and transparent manner, it said.
The package should be made more effective in the light of reaction by stakeholders so that agricultural growth which was 2.9 percent last year could improve benefiting rural economy, said President PBIF and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain.
He said that growers are facing losses due to slump in process resulting in rotting produce which should be taken seriously.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that farmers must be educated about latest trends to cut expenses and boost production and support price be announced for important crops.
He said that issues like increasing input prices, faulty urea distribution system, influence of middle men and usurers and flooding fake pesticides need urgent attention of authorities.
The unofficial moneylenders have their say in the rural economy as banks continue to ignore farmers despite best efforts by the State Bank, he observed.
Mian Zahid said that 20 billion subsidy on Urea will bring down price to 1991 per bag while the DAP would be sold at Rs 3000 which is discouraging.
He said that reversing gas price hike will be a better option to lure planters to use urea and DAP, adding that lack of coordination between centre and provinces could hurt the package.
Rural economy must be linked to industry and cold storage facilities be upgraded so that value addition can assist all the stakeholders.