Lahore - Kissan Wing of the Pakistan People’s Party has demanded that the support price of the wheat should be fixed at least at the rate of Rs 1,500 per 40kg in view of the exuberant surge in the prices of inputs like urea, pesticides, seeds, labour including the electricity rates.

The meeting was held here on Friday under the chair of Nawab Waseer, PPP President Kissan Wing, Punjab, which was attended by Nasir Javed Ghumman Secretary General and the scores of district presidents of the Kissan Wing.

In the meeting tributes were paid by the participants to the services of Punjab President Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo and Secretary General Tanvir Ashraf Kaira for their outstanding services for the development of agriculture sector and pro-farmer policies during the period of former PPP led government in the country. The dividends of the policies proved a shot in the arm to the rural economy in particular.

It was urged that the increase in support price was absolutely critical for the well-being of the 70 per cent population of the country which was directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture.

It was also underscored that the government must ensure the sufficient and timely supply of bags (Bardana) to farmers and also figures out fool proof arrangements for the purchase of wheat from the farmers to nullify the role of middle man who thrived at the expense of the small farmers.

It was also urged in the meeting that payments to sugarcane growers must be made within fifteen days failing which the farmers of the Punjab would be compelled to take appropriate action including the province-wise protest to press for their legitimate demands.

The Kissan Wing expressed its total solidarity with farmers who had been protesting outside the Chistatian Sugar Mills Sargodha for the acceptance of their demands.

They also demanded that a member of the Kissan Board should be included in the Sugar Cess Board to ensure full recovery of the tax from the sugar mill owners and also its valid utilization according to the purposes specified under the rules of business. They strongly objected to the use of sugar cess  in the urban areas which is against the act. It is meant only for farm-to- market related projects, they maintained.

Earlier the Chairman of the Kissan Wing, Nawaz Waseer, said that the PPP former government led by Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani enhanced the support price of wheat from Rs. 450 to Rs. 900 per forty KG and the result was that the country not only attained self-sufficiency in wheat production but also was able to export a large quantity of it throughout.

He lamented that during the first year of this government it had reportedly imported wheat to meet the demand of wheat in the country.

He observed without fear of contradiction that the decision of the former government to increase the support price and other rationalization of the policies in the agriculture sector brought prosperity in the rural areas and the quality of life took quantum jump in the real sense.

He added that the economists of the country and the well reputed international institutions were of the view that development of agriculture also supplemented the industrial sector of the country because agro-based industrial policies had paid handsome dividends to the economy and the resultant welfare of the entire population of the country.