Pakistan’s prosperity linked with its farmers’ prosperity:PM

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LODHRAN, Nov 6 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
Friday said prosperity of Pakistan was closely linked with the
prosperity of its farmers and the Kisaan Package was an
unprecedented financial support to them in the country’s
68-year history.
Addressing a cheque distribution ceremony here under the
Kisaan Package, the Prime Minister said his government committed
to facilitating the farmers as agriculture was the backbone of
country’s economy.
Federal Minister for Information Pervaiz Rasheed and Minister
for Water and Power Khwaja Asif were also present.
The Prime Minister launched the Package from Lodhran on the
invitation of Pakistan Muslim League (N)’s local leaders including
MNA Khan Abdur Rehman Kanju, Siddique Baloch and Ahmed Khan Baloch.
The Prime Minister said that the government had reduced the
prices of diesel and electricity rates for farmers to help them
lessen their cost of production.
He said the prices of cotton, rice and other food commodities
had decreased in international markets, however, he said, the
government despite constraint of resources announced the Kisaan
Package worth Rs 341 billion for the uplift of the country’s
farmers.
The Prime Minister said that the government of Pakistan Muslim
League (N) was serving the masses considering it a noble cause.
He said Lodhran was a strong citadel of PML(N) and told the
gathering comprising farmers and PML(N) supporters from Lodhran that
he would always remember their love they expressed for the party in
elections.
He said the farmers of Lodhran cultivated cotton at 1,68,536
acres and rice at 5,695 acres of land in the district, adding that
the farmers of Lodhran would get Rs 870 million as financial
support.
The Prime Minister announced establishment of an agriculture
university and construction of two flyovers in Lodhran.
He said development projects worth Rs 2.5 billion would be
carried out in Lodhran instead of the earlier decided amount of Rs
2 billion.
The Prime Minister who had earlier announced the Kisaan
Package on September 15 said he intended to start distribution of
cheques within a week, however those who did not want the farmers to
become self-sufficient halted the launch of the Package.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed to ensure that there is
no delay in dispensation of cheques to the farmers.
He lauded Federal Minister for National Food Security and
Research Sikandar Hayat Bosan for his efforts to formulate the
Kisaan Package.
He said the farmers would also be given easy loans to install
solar tubewells at their lands.
He announced that Lodhran will be connected with Karachi-
Lahore motorway, and the areas including Gerey Waal and Makhdoom
Ali would be provided gas supply on priority basis.
The Prime Minister said loadshedding of electricity would be
ended from the country by the end of year 2017.
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research
Sikandar Hayat Bosan said this was for the very first time in
the country’s history that a government was providing direct
compensation to farmers, after realizing their difficulties.
He said the Kisaan package worth Rs 341 billion comprises
four segments including financial support to farmers, cost
reduction of produce, provision of agricultural loans and
simplifying the procedure of loan acquisition.
He said the prominent support measures include provision of
Rs. 5,000 per acre to the farmers, having land up to 12.5 acres,
reduction in mark-up rate for rice and cotton growers by two
percent and increase in Production Index Units (PIU) of
agricultural land from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000.
The Minister said farmers would be able to get loans for
setting up solar tube-wells and would be given exemption on
income tax for three years.
Member National Assembly from Lodhran Khan Abdur Rehman
Kanju said 34,000 farmers of Lodhran would benefit from the
Kisaan Package.
He said owing to its people-friendly policies, Pakistan
Muslim League (N) had achieved 52 out of 67 seats of Union
Council of Lodhran.
He drew the Prime Minister’s attention towards the
longstanding demands of Lodhran including provision of electricity
to Lodhran’s distant areas, establishment of degree colleges and
a university, upgradation of Lodhran-Multan section of N-5 motorway
and declaration of Lodhran as tax-free zone.
The Prime Minister gave away support cheques among the farmers
from the Punjab.
Earlier on his arrival, Punjab Secretary Agriculture Shehryar
Sultan briefed the Prime Minister that facilitation centres had
been set up at 33 districts of the Punjab.
These centres, from today onward, will start dispensation of
cheques among the farmers through the counters of National Bank of
Pakistan and NADRA (National Database and Registration Authority.
The Prime Minister was informed that 250 farmers on daily
basis would be given the support cheques which would benefit 1.2
million farmers across the Punjab.