LAHORE - Irrigation minister Mian Yawar Zaman has said that federal and provincial governments are pursuing a comprehensive strategy for the welfare of farmers. He said that flat rate of electricity has been given for tube-wells to the farmers of Punjab which reflects farmers-friendly policies of the government. He said that all Commissioners and DCOs would be directed to eliminate hoarding, and profiteering of fertilizers and set up complaint cell in every district for redressal of complaints of farmers. He said that provision of fertilizers at government rate would be ensured at every cost.

He said this while presiding over a high level meeting in connection with holding dialogues with a representative delegation of Kissan Ittehad about prices of wheat, sugarcane and fertilizers at Irrigation Secretariat on Saturday.

Kissan Ittehad leaders presented their demands regarding prices of sugarcane and fertilizers. They demanded that prices of wheat and sugarcane be increased whereas prices of fertilizer should be reduced. They further demanded that the role of middleman in the sale and purchase of fertilizers be eliminated so that farmers and common man could directly benefit from the subsidy of Rs.30 billion given by the government for the provision of fertilizers.

Agriculture Minister Dr. Farrukh Javed said that in consultation with the Kissan Ittehad leaders, the prices of sugarcane, deduction in weight and timely payment to the farmers would be ensured. Secretary Food Aslam Kamboh told the meeting that strict instructions have been issued to sugar mills with regard to the prices of sugarcane, deduction in weight and timely payment to the farmers. He said that sugar mills have made record payments to the farmers this year.

The meeting decided that a report would be submitted to federal government in consultation with farmers and other stakeholders with regard to cost of wheat, its production and price of wheat as fixing of wheat prices is the responsibility of federal government.