Lahore - Farmers called off protest on Thursday after authorities assured them of fulfilling their rightful demands.  A delegation of Kissan Ittehad called on Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and announced calling off the protest agitation.

Usman Buzdar said that farmers are his brothers and it is his responsibility to protect their rights. He assured them of solving their problems, saying that the farmers will be given full reward of their hard work.

“Sugar mill owners have assured running their mills from tomorrow. The rights of the sugarcane farmers will be protected at all costs,”

Chairman of Kissan Ittehad Ch Anwar said that they are calling off their protest on the assurance of CM to solve their genuine demands.

Durig the meeting, it was decided to adopt legal process for withdrawing cases against farmers and steps will be proposed for decreasing the fertiliser price on the demand of the farmers while the  additional chief secretary (energy) will look after the matter of tube well bills. 

A spokesman for CM, Dr Shahbaz Gill, has said that sugar mill owners in Punjab will start crushing and added that release of Rs2.90 billion has been approved for payment of dues of sugar mill owners.

The sugarcane rate will be Rs180 per 40kg. No excess will be allowed in deduction and it would be done according to the law. Addressing a press conference at CM Office along with Food Minister Samiullah Chaudhry, Chairman of Punjab Sugar Mills Association Nauman, he said that Rs. 2.90 billion of sugar mills were pending in the previous tenure.

 ‘Govt not to scrap subsidy

on DAP fertiliser’

A Punjab minister, Malik Nauman Langriyal, told the Punjab Assembly on Thursday that the government was not scrapping Rs500 subsidy on DAP fertiliser per bag for facilitation of farmer community. He, however said the growers of edible oil related crops would be provided Rs 5,000 per acre subsidy, to encourage export of edible oil.

The minister stated this while winding up a two-day general discussion on agriculture sector. The Treasury and the Opposition lawmakers who took part in the discussion and presented useful proposals, included Arshad Javed, Malik Ahmed Ali Aulakh, Chaudhry Iqbal, Zainab Umar and Sheikh Alauddin.

The minister said that the incumbent government was offering ideal incentives to the growers to attain better yield. He said that latest technologies were being introduced for doubling agricultural productivity.

Langriyal spoke at length about issues related to farmers and sugarcane growers and assured the House redress of all problems facing the sugarcane growers.

Replying to a question, he said that the condition of old water courses were being reviewed and repair work on them would be initiate soon.

Winding-up the debate, Food Minister Chaudhry Muhammad Ikhlaq told the House that the PTI government had  adopted zero tolerance policy against food adulteration. He said that farmers, who grow food crops with help of sewerage water, had been given warning and action would be taken against them if they continued with the unhealthy practice.

Earlier, the fourth sitting of the fifth session of the current assembly started an hour and 46 minutes behind its scheduled time with Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi in the chair. As many as 67 MPAs were present at the outset of the sitting.

Soon after recitation of the holy verses, Minister for Auqaf and Religious Affairs Syed Saeedul Hassan, in reply  to a question, told the House that a total of nine Quran Mahals had been set up so far at divisional level for preserving the sacred pages of Holy Quran.

Provincial minister for transport, answering questions by members during the Question-Hour, said that 39 vehicle  inspection and certification system station were being set up to issue vehicle fitness certificates. “These modernly equipped stations have already been functional in Lahore, Sheikhupura, Gujrat, Vehari, Khanewal, Toba Tek Singh & Attock, while 15 more stations would be opened soon. These station will help improve the overall fitness level of vehicles,” he added.

Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Muhammad Basharat Raja moved a motion to discuss annual report of the Punjab Bait-ul-Maal for the year 2012.