Paddy growers’ leaders have urged the government to start rice export so as to facilitate the farmers, saying that produce worth US$ 6 billion has been in the warehouses for the last two years.

A Kissan Board Pakistan office-bearer urged the government to announce the support price of paddy to steer the growers out of financial crisis. Addressing a convention of paddy growers, its Central President Sadiq Khan Khakwani said that the paddy growers were much perturbed due to prevailing paddy crisis across Pakistan and they had also been suffering great financial crisis.

He urged the government to give guarantee of purchase of the paddy yield directly from the growers through PASCO and Pakistan Trading Corporation (PTC) to give a financial boost to them.

The speakers demanded early export of paddy stock on emergency grounds, saying that there were no exports of rice for the last two years from the most of the areas which were the hub of rice. He said that the huge paddy quantity had been lying stocked in the go-downs, as the farmers and rice dealers could not export it due to strong policies of the government.

If this huge quantity of paddy yield was not exported on emergency ground, the growers would become bankrupt. They said. Nisar Ahmed, Arsalan Khan, Malik Ramzan, Farooq Ahmed and Amanullah also addressed the convention.

Meanwhile, Rice Millers’ Association Punjab President M Yousaf, Secretary General Naeem Gill and MPA Arshad Javaid said that the paddy yield is backbone of the national economy. They earn precious foreign exchange in the shape of rice exports to the tune of US$ 3 billion annually, they said. They said that all the business and trade activities related to rice exports had been lying suspended for the last two consecutive years across the country. They added that the investment of exporters in rice was lying frozen for the last two years, as the huge quantity of rice yield has not yet been exported due to the “unfair” government policies. They demanded early export of this rice to save the growers from the loss of billions of dollars.

RE-AUDITING OF FIRMS: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to re-audit all the main factories, industrial units, trade and business centres to ensure maximum recovery of taxes.

It has decided to remove flaws from the tax collection and depositing system and to expande its tax net to bring maximum people under the net in Gujranwala Division. According to the senior FBR officials, the re-audit of the would start in a couple of days in Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad and Gujranwala districts. Meanwhile, the local traders have hired the services of lawyers to avert the re-auditing. The traders have also provided the details of their bank accounts in this regard.

The major step of re-auditing was being taken by the FBR Gujranwala authorities after receiving official targets of expanding the tax net, bringing maximum people under the net and ensuring maximum tax collection. Targets have been given by the FBR Headquarters Islamabad with the clear directions of early compliance with these directions regarding achieving the targets.