LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif has urged the government to immediately announce agricultural policy ahead of wheat harvesting season in the wake of COVID-19 threat.
“In the agricultural policy, the government must protect the interests of small farmers while taking into account the measures to save the people from coronavirus,” Shehbaz said.
The opposition leader in the National Assembly also urged the party to prepare recommendations with regard to wheat harvest, the supply of wheat from farm to market and government’s wheat support price to help the farmers in the coming days of the wheat harvesting season.
“The PML-N has prepared its recommendations in consultation with medical experts, economists, businessmen and traders,” Shehbaz said, adding the party was holding consultations with party leaders, agriculturists and farming community to prepare recommendations for government to implement its policy in the best interest of farmers and country’s economy.
Shehbaz added the PML-N had always given top priority to agriculture and farmers’ community. During PML-N’s tenure, Shehbaz said the government, under the leadership of the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, announced the historic Kissan Package.
Under this package, he said, the government provided electricity at low tariff, fertilizers at half prices and concession on diesel-run tube-wells.
In Punjab, he said the government had provided interest-free loans to small landholders, which helped double the production of crops in the province.
“The government not just made it easier for farmers to obtain loans but also waived the fee charges on the acquisition of these loans, which boosted the agricultural economy in the province,” he added.