Punjab Minister for Agriculture Malik Ahmad Ali said that the persons involved in black marketing of fertilisers in Punjab would be dealt with iron hands. He issued special instructions to concerned authorities to take action without any discrimination.
He expressed these views while talking to media representatives after a high level meeting. He said that Punjab government always talked about the rights of farmers and by opposing the anti-farmer policies of the Federal Government it proved its farmer friendship. He said that the Federal Government created artificial shortage of fertilisers and thus increased the prices by its hoarding. He said for taking action against the persons involved in these activities, 707 FIRs have been registered besides receiving a fine of Rs 16,773,150 so far.
Malik Ahmad Ali said that increase in the prices of fertilisers has ruined the farmers. He said that the Federal Government has hatched a conspiracy to defame Punjab government by delayed import and distribution of urea fertilisers and to benefit their relatives sitting in NFML. He said it is lamentable that the prices of urea fertilisers have been increased manifold due to wrong policies of the Federal Government while the shortage of fertilisers has created numerous problems for the farmers. He said that when the present Federal Government took over in 2008, the price of urea fertiliser was Rs 660/- while the price of DAP was Rs 2,100 per 50kg bag but due to its wrong policies, the prices kept on increasing and today the prices of Urea fertiliser and DAP have reached Rs 1,810 and 4,200, respectively.
Malik Ahmad Ali demanded immediate withdrawal of general sales tax on fertilisers and to give subsidy on gas or otherwise, surcharge be withdrawn fully. He said that due to lack of purchasing power, the farmers are using less fertiliser which would result in less production.
Provincial Minister said that the farmers had to bear additional amount of Rs 13 billion due to GST on agro products by the Federal Government. He further said that as part of a conspiracy against the Punjab government, the Federal Government is ruining the industries and agro sector by increasing load shedding of power and Sui gas in the province. He said that despite all these conspiracies, the Punjab government continued its farmers-friendly policies which resulted in record increase in production during the last four years. He said that the Punjab government is utilising all available resources for the development of agriculture sector and has started successful schemes like green tractors for the welfare of farmers. He said that had the Federal Government taken such steps, a revolution could have been created in the field of agriculture besides earning huge foreign exchange.
Malik Ahmad Ali said that unfortunately the representatives of Federal Government preferred personal interests over national interest during the last four years while the Punjab government continued to take steps aiming at welfare of farmers and progress of agro sector. He said as a result of Punjab government’s farmers-friendly policies and better strategy, Insha Allah a record production would be yielded in future as well.