PM asks govts to purchase wheat directly from farmers

Shehbaz says this initiative will give maximum benefit to farmers n Shows satisfaction over 27.5m metric tons bumper wheat production n Directs for strict action against hoardersn Govt committed to ensuring well-being of labourers, workers.


ISLAMABAD    -    Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Sunday that the provincial and federal departments should directly purchase wheat from farmers in or­der to provide them maximum ben­efit and minimize the role of middle man. “The government should also increase the procurement targets of wheat, so as to ensure its uninter­rupted supply throughout the year,” said the prime minister while chair­ing a meeting held here to review the countrywide wheat procurement drive at the official level, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release. 

He attributed the production of 27.5 million metric tons record bumper wheat crop in the country to government’s efforts at timely de­cisions, provision of quality seed, in­terrupted supply of fertilizer and Kissan package. 

Expressing his satisfaction over the country’s produce which surpassed production during the previous ten years, the prime minister thanked Allah Almighty for the blessing. 

He, however, directed for strict ac­tion against hoarders. He also direct­ed for provision of required resourc­es through banks to get a specified quantity of wheat.

The meeting was informed about the production of wheat in the current year, its available stock, carry forward stocks and the procurement targets of the federal and provincial depart­ments. The meeting was at­tended by Minister for Nation­al Food Security Tariq Bashir Cheema, PM’s Adviser Ahad Khan Cheema, Special Assis­tant Tariq Bajwa, Caretaker Punjab Minister for Industries SM Tanveer and other senior authorities. 

The prime minister congratu­lated the minister for food se­curity and other relevant au­thorities and appreciated their steps. He said that despite heavy rainfalls and floods last year, achieving a bumper wheat crop was the result of the gov­ernment’s timely decisions and the best governance.

Felicitating the nation on achieving the milestone, the prime minister said that the government was formulating a strategy for achieving en­hanced production next year. 

Due to mismanagement of the previous government, Pa­kistan became a wheat-import­ing country, he said, adding the farmers were made to wait in long lines for the whole day to get fertilizers. 

Meanwhile, in a message on the International Workers Day, which is being celebrated glob­ally on May 1, the prime min­ister, while highlighting the workers’ pivotal role in the economic development, reit­erated that the government was committed to ensuring the benefits of economic progress translated into prosperity for all sections of the population, particularly the labourers and workers. 

He said that this day re­minded them of the sacrific­es of those workers who laid down their lives while waging a relentless struggle for their rights. 

The day symbolized the sanc­tity and dignity of labour and at the same time, it was an ac­knowledgement of the impor­tance of workers and labourers for being central to the eco­nomic growth of the country, he added. 

Paying tributes to the work­ing classes for their contribu­tions to the development of the country, he called upon all the stakeholders to renew their pledge both at the individual and collective levels to ensure the welfare of working classes by investing in their socio-eco­nomic and social well-being. 

The prime minister further said “Our great religion, Islam, emphasizes the principles of social justice, equity and re­spect for the rights of the peo­ple. Allah Almighty and the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) have ordered us to fulfill the rights of the workers and not be lax in the performance of this core duty,” he added. 

He said they found numerous inspiring examples of the dig­nity of laborer and respect for the rights of the working class­es in the life of the Holy Proph­et (PBUH). 

“Respect for hard work and recognition of the rights of workers are extremely import­ant in the process of progress. Islam accorded the sanctity to these fundamental human rights much before the estab­lishment of labour laws,” said the press release issued by the PM Office Media Wing quoting him as saying. 

On the same ground, the prime minister said, they be­lieved that workers and em­ployers were partners in the production process and their cooperation and amicable re­lationship was essential for the socio-economic development of the country. 

He said that the present gov­ernment was committed to im­proving the working and liv­ing conditions of workers and to supplement their welfare by providing better housing, edu­cation facilities and health cov­er for them and their families. 

Keeping in view the high in­flation rates and other econom­ic challenges, the government had increased the minimum wages of workers from Rs. 17,500 to 25,000 per month, he said, adding that it also aimed to develop automated, inte­grated systems for workers’ welfare institutions to ensure transparency and to curtail de­lays in providing relief to the labourers and workers. 

Keeping in view the require­ments of the labour market, the prime minister further said that the present govern­ment had embarked upon pro­grammes of vocational training and skills development to en­able workers to get their due share in job markets within and outside the country.

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