Farmers’ demands and Kissan package

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that the government will unveil a historic Kissan package next week for the development of the agriculture sector.

According to him, agriculture is the backbone of the economy and plays an important role in the socio-economic uplift of the masses. The Prime Minister expressed his resolve to provide all possible relief for the development of the agricultural sector and ensure the welfare of growers.

The Premier recalled the historic measures which he initiated for the promotion of agriculture in Punjab during his Chief Ministership in the province.

Recently, thousands of farmers reached the Federal Capital to lodge a protest and express their distrust in government policies that badly ruined the agri-sector in the country. The farmers under the umbrella of the Kissan Ittihad put forward several demands before the government and announced an indefinite sit-in near the highly protected Red Zone of the national capital.

The farmers demanded the government restore the previous tube well electricity tariff of Rs 5.3 per unit, remove all taxes and fuel price adjustments, and also take strict action to end the black marketing of fertilizers and less production of Urea fertilizer. The farmers also pressed the government to uplift the agriculture sector by allowing it an industrial status.

After several rounds of talks with farmers’ representatives, the Federal authorities assured them about the resolution of their issues and subsequently, the farmers called off their protests and packed up to their homes. Interestingly, the Premier claimed magnificent agri-sector reforms in Punjab during his rule, while the majority of the protestors arrived from Lahore and Southern Punjab. The Prime Minister promised to satisfy the demands of the farmers within the available resources and permissible limits of the current economic crisis.

In fact, farmers had been caught by the unbearable effects of rising inflation coupled with the criminal behavior of black marketeers and energy price hikes, while Kissan Ittihad handed over a long wishlist to the government leaders. Hence, it will not be possible for the government to Okeyed all demands and probably the Politicians will seek a give-and-take rule in the prevailing situation. However, the reality of the tall claims and tact of the rulers would be visible in the coming days.