ISLAMABAD            -        The PTI government on Friday expressed its belief that the agriculture sector would revive and flourish by adopting a ‘quality conscious approach’ for crops and by ensuring government approved seeds are used in the field.

“Government approved seeds need to be used by the farmers as it would help in achieving the set targets. We have to move towards quality conscious crops in the country,” said Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, winding up a two-day debate on the agriculture sector in the country. The lawmakers in the last two day’s debate asked the government to impose an agricultural emergency in the country to resolve the issues of farmers and improve the agriculture sector.

Minister said the previous regimes had not properly valued this important sector, which is the backbone of a country’s economy. “There is a plan to provide quality seeds to the farmers in order to enhance per acre yield of major crops such as wheat and cotton,” said the minister, adding that there was dire need to improve the canal system and on farm water management.

He said the construction of Diamer Basha dam will go a long way in overcoming water shortages in the country.

“The government will ensure cooperation with the provincial governments,” he said, mentioning that enhancement of agriculture products will also enhance our exports.

He said the government has approved a package for the agriculture sector under which the fertilisers will be given to the farmers on subsidised rates.  “It is also our plan to provide subsidy to the farmers in the power bills of tube wells,” he said, mentioning that the prices of commodities have stabilized in Punjab due to the releases made by the provincial government.

Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Andaleeb Abbas said India miserably failed to push Pakistan to isolation at the international level. “Its malicious propaganda could not work properly,” she said, mentioning that Pakistan is improving bilateral ties with South Asian countries.

“Pakistan took a milestone step by deciding to open the Kartarpur Corridor and released captured Indian pilot after Indian misadventure of Balakot as a peace gesture,” she said The Parliamentary Secretary further said that Pakistan wishes to resolve all outstanding issues with India including Kashmir dispute through peaceful means. She, however, said that India must create an enabling environment for a result-oriented dialogue to take place.

“Pakistan has significantly improved its relations with neighbouring countries including Iran and Afghanistan over the last two years,” she said, adding that Pakistan has recently reopened borders with Afghanistan and trade has witnessed an increase of twenty-five percent.

The house witnessed rumpus during a question-hour session when opposition lawmakers from backbenches asked the government to give specific answers related to the funds of MNAs.  “We need a specific reply from the government. How will an MNA ensure development projects without proper funds,” said PPP-P’s MNA Agha Rafi Ullah. Minister for Power Division Omar Ayub said the MNAs can ensure funds availability from the concerned Deputy Commissioner office. PPP-P’s senior MNA /former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Asraf said that the government should give proper response to the opposition on their queries. The opposition members also created rumpus but the chair controlled the situation.