LAHORE - A treasury member yesterday invited attention of the Punjab Assembly to the miserable plight of the farmers after they are badly hit by government’s duty-free policy to gratify India and imports its fruits and vegetables.

PML-N’s MPA Sheikh Allaudin, through the adjournment motion, sought immediate debate in the house over the import of 137 Indian agri items over the last four years whereof Punjab’s own farmers have been ignored over the last four years.

Only last year agricultural items worth Rs26billion (paid in forex) were imported from India in a bid to open way to giving it the status of most favourite nation, the MPA told Deputy Speaker Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani in the chair who pended the motion for next week.

It is besides Rs 15billion import of tomato and Rs14billion beans from India.

Low prices of agri produce in India stems from $100b subsidy which they get on fuel, fertilizers, seeds, pesticides and equipment etc from the government. Therefore, the Indian farmers dump its agri items into Punjab as soon as growers in this province begin to get to better price of their items.

“Middle-man is also causing huge loss to our farmers,” Mr Allaudin said and grumbled the farmers are without the promised subsidy on fertilizers and pesticides.

“Those affected by slump in rice price in the international market have also not been given Rs5000 per acre subsidy.

“The sugarcane growers are also unpaid as such they are obliged to sell out their CPR to front-men at 25 per cent less than the actual amount,” he added.

The same MPA moved another adjournment motion over the sufferings of the poor patients in public hospitals as well as at the hand of the private practitioners at these health facilities.

He said the private practitioners are minting money by enticing the poor patients in public hospitals into getting private treatment from them. “The private hospitals are not only violating Supreme Court direction for allocating 30 per cent free of charge service to the poor but are also fleecing the poor by high rent of the private rooms and treatment,” the MPA added.

He lamented the government is paying not heed to this side. Debate of this resolution was also pended for next week.

Both Treasury and the Opposition members strongly raised voice when the Chair granted one year extension to the Committee for completing audit reports of various public departments. Mian Tariq Mahmood urged the House to grant another year’s time to complete nine reports pending from the year 2002 to 2013.

Sheikh Allauddin, Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, Sibtain Khan, Muhammad Siddique Khan and others said the Rule-166 of the Punjab Assembly debars grant of such repeated extensions.

Ahmad Khan from the book read that the House has to proceed in light of the reports and the needy get the relief from their findings. As such the House activity is closely knotted with the findings of the committee reports and that will become redundant if they are not completed in time.

On the basis of rule, he wanted the chair to the fix a definite time for presenting reports as delay of nine/ten years in not affordable to the House.

The Chair however, did not take much notice of this solicit arguing, saying he was helpless when the House with majority had consented to extension in time.

The members also voiced concern over the absence of the ministers (only one Finance Minister was present) and said it has become a routine on their part.

JI member Dr Waseem Akhtar stressed on ending corruption in technical and other institutions side by side improving morals of the students. He also groused that in public departments, commission in the award of contracts has become order of the day that needs to be checked.

Further proceedings of the 19th session of the Assembly will resume at 10am today.