LAHORE - Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq has called upon the government to allocate more resources for rural areas to improve the plight of the villagers and to check fast urbanisation.

He was talking to the Kisan Board representatives at JI head office Mansoora yesterday, where he demanded a system to ensure reasonable return to the growers for their crops and to end their exploitation by the middlemen.

The senator also demanded building of new dams to augment irrigation water resources so that more areas could be brought under the plough.

Siraj said that the government had left 70 percent of the country’s population living in rural areas at the mercy of the feudal lords and tribal elders who treat them like animals.

The JI chief said that the wrong policies of the government had ruined the agriculture and the farmers were finding it hard to make both ends meet.

“Only 30 percent of the GDP is being spent on the rural population which comprises 70 percent of the population. The living conditions in the rural areas are so poor that thousands of the people shift to the urban areas every year.

“Only four percent of the DGP was being spent on agriculture which contributed 25pc to the GDP,” he added.

On the other hand, Siraj said, 60pc of the GDP was being spent on industry which was contributing around 19pc of the GDP.

He demanded that the support price of paddy be fixed at Rs2,500 per maund, and that of cotton be fixed in consultation with the growers so that their cost of production was covered. The state lands lying barren should be allotted to the landless tillers so that these could be brought under cultivation and the national income was increased, he further stressed.

Besides, he added, diesel and electricity should be provided to the agricultural tube wells on subsidised rates.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, the JI amir said that India has lost its case on Kashmir and also on the diplomatic front and is now coming down to dirty tactics to put the blame on Pakistan.

He said that the attack at Ori had been maneuvered by New Delhi itself with the intention to blame Islamabad for that like the Pathankot attack, only to be able to revive the case it had already lost.