A number of farmers held a protest demonstration against the Trading Corporation Pakistan (TCP) and the local factories’ owners, and accused the TCP officials of committing huge corruption and not providing them with subsidy pledged by the government.

The protesters said that the government had provided Rs30b subsidy to the farmers through the TCP but due to embezzlements and huge corruption by the TCP officials, the farmers’ problems still persist. They added that Vehari district was called cotton king in the Punjab especially in South Punjab and the farmers were the backbone of the national economy but their grievances were not being addressed.

On the occasion, Pakistan Kissan Ittehad President Muhammad Anwer alleged that that the factories administrations, with connivance of the TCP officials, buy cotton from the farmers at Rs1,800 per 40kg against the fixed price of Rs3,000 per 40kg, and the TCP did not support the farmers in the situation nor take action against the owners.

He also said in the name of facilities that are not provided for the farmers, the TCP received huge amount from the government by preparing fake bills, receipts and agreements.

PKI Vice President Rai Tariq Kharal said that most of TCP officials were involved in the corruption and they did not perform their duties honestly. He demanded that the prime minister should take notice over the situation and resolve the problems of the growers.

In the protesters also included PKI District President Malik Zulfiqar Awan, Secretary General Ijaz Akber Hanjra, cotton growers Nadeem Khan Bhabha, Mian M Asim Arain, Ghulam M Burana and Syed M Ali Shah. They regretted the textile industrialists do not purchase cotton from the local farmers rather they purchase the same from foreign countries thereby affecting the national economy.

Addressing the protesters, MPA Saqib Khurshid said that the farming community was the asset of Pakistan as they play a key role in the economy of Pakistan. Elimination of loadshedding is a big challenge for the government. He said that the government should decrease the rates of pesticides, he said. He also said that the government would resolve the farmers’ problems on priority basis. MPA Naeem Khan Bhabha said that supported the framers’ demands, adding that the development of the country depended upon the prosperity of farmers.

He asked the TCP officials to provide relief to the farmers under the funds provided by the government for the purpose. He said that the Punjab chief minister should take action against the TCP officials if they were involved in corruption.