Islamabad - Prime Minister Imran Khan said yesterday a long term policy be framed regarding demand and supply of essential commodities, fixation of prices, reducing input costs of farmers and provision of conducive environment to them.

Chairing a meeting regarding fixation of the sugarcane price, the prime minister said the policy aimed at reducing input costs of the farmers should be framed on priority basis.

Imran Khan also directed the Competitive Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to review the relevant laws and such amendments be made in them which will ensure stability in prices of essential commodities and discourage monopoly in the market. He stressed that latest technology should be used for this purpose.

Regarding fixation of sugarcane price, the prime minister stressed that price of the commodity should be fixed in such a manner which not only encourage the growers but it should also be accompanied by such measures that ensure stability of sugar price in the market.

The prime minister said the government was giving special emphasis to equal development of both agriculture and industrial sectors and provide relief to the masses.

The prime minister said strengthening the agriculture sector and providing relief to small farmers was top priority of the government.

Directs Punjab govt to ensure timely payment to farmers by sugar mills

The meeting decided to conduct audit of sugar cess fund to determine whether it was being collected and used as per policy and law. It was also decided that Punjab government will take all requisite administrative steps to ensure stability in sugar price at the ex-mill and the retail level.

The meeting decided that the Punjab government will ensure that the growers get their outstanding amounts from the sugar mills. For this purpose, the Punjab government has also been directed to do necessary legislation that carries penalty on the sugar mill owners who do not ensure timely payment to the farmers.

The prime minister was also informed that the Economic Coordination Committee had fixed the wheat price at Rs1,365 per 40 kilogram. He was informed that this decision will bring prosperity in the lives of the farmers.

Separately, talking to Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan, the World Food Programme’s Special Adviser on Mother and Child Nutrition, who called on him here at the Prime Minister’s House yesterday, the premier said present government was fully committed to combating issue of malnutrition in Pakistan.

He mentioned that in his very first address to the nation, he committed to addressing the severest form of malnutrition, including the prevalence of stunted growth in children in the country as a matter of priority for his government.

He apprised the princess of steps taken by the government of Pakistan under Ehsaas and other poverty alleviation programmes, concerning women’s empowerment.

Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan briefed the prime minister on her engagements in Pakistan during the visit and expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s efforts including the prioritization of mother and child nutrition.

The princess also appreciated the personal leadership of the prime minister on the issue of stunting and malnutrition, describing it as “inspirational and critically important”.