Parties urged to focus on agriculture
Thursday, April 18, 2013
The political parties have mentioned agriculture in their election manifestoes 2013 but no practical action was seen to protect it ignoring the fact that this sector guaranteed the national food security.
These views were expressed by the discussants in Jang Economic Session on ‘how agriculture sector sees the election slogans of the political parties’, here on Wednesday. The panellists were Chairman Economics Department Punjab University Dr Hafeez-ur-Rehman, Jamshed Cheema, Hamid Malhi, Rukhsana Zafar and Akthar Mayo while hosted by Sikandar Hameed Lodhi and Intikhab Tariq.
Dr Hafeez-ur-Rehman said that the agriculture sector was providing highest employment and supplying raw material to industries.
He believed that the policies should be made while keeping the importance of agriculture sector in sight but political parties tried to run the affairs with ad hoc policies. He said developed countries people happily pay taxes due to the facilities given to them while in Pakistan public consider the taxes a burden due to missing facilities.
Jamshed Cheema said that agriculture ensure food security and provide cheap food to public so that government should not deal it as business. He said agriculture sector was facing substandard seeds, taxes, value addition and non-subsidised agri inputs issues. He said China was making huge money by value addition of agriculture sector produce but in Pakistan agriculture sector was ignored again by political parties. He said that the PTI also focused on energy, education and health sector.
Hamid Malhi said that 16 per cent GST was imposed on agriculture sector while political parties did not give importance to agriculture sector in their manifestos. He said PTI had voiced to construct Kalabagh Dam but did not discuss it in its manifesto while PML-N has mentioned to grant MFN status to India but did not give plan to compete with strong Indian agriculture sector.
Rukhsana Zafar said that 80 to 90 per cent of rural women were attached with agriculture sector but political parties ignored them again. She said India has limited land holding size to 12 acres but their agriculture sector was growing. She said the political parties should announce agriculture reforms in their manifestos.
Akthar Mayo said industrial sector was given preference on agriculture sector since after creation of Pakistan which badly hit the latter. He said agriculture sector subsidy was limited to few people while political parties just make promises for agriculture sector growth. He said if agriculture sector would be given attention Punjab could become house of food. He said agriculture sector save the country of economic restriction after atomic blasts. Agriculture in Pakistan. Source The NEWS