ISLAMABAD    -   Federal Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah Saturday said the committee consti­tuted by Cabinet was work­ing on the reduction of elec­tricity bills of the agricultural tube wells, as to solve the problems of farmers.

“The committee will meet on Monday, and will look into all options and suggestions. The government is taking steps to solve the problems and legitimate demands of the farmers. The demand for deferment of payment of tube wells bills is also accepted and a notification has issued in this regard,” Sanaullah said in a statement issued here.

Speaking about the issue of Kissan Ittehad Union pro­test and sit-in at Khayaban Chowk, he said the farmers’ sit-ins were unjustified.

“Farmers have been in­formed about the situation in a meeting with Kisan Itte­had, therefore, protests and sit-ins on part of them are unjustified,” he said.

He said the red zone was the red line and farmers or any group were not allowed to protest there and the law would take action against those marching towards red zone. There were also clear orders from the Apex Court that no protest could be held in the red zone.

The deadlock still persists between the federal govern­ment and the farmers as the protest sit-in entered the fourth day on Saturday. Inte­rior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan also warned the farm­ers saying their protest was “devoid of reasoning.”

The minister made these remarks after a meeting with Kissan Ittehad, the represen­tative body of farmers.

The farmers have been pro­testing by holding a sit-in in the center of Islamabad since last Wednesday to press the government to fulfil their de­mands. The Ministry of Inte­rior in a statement while quot­ing Rana Sanaullah said that the representatives of farmers have been informed about the situation in the meeting.

“Red Zone is a red line,” the inte­rior minister said, adding that any group would not be allowed to protest or hold sit-in in the area. “The law will take its course if any one marched towards the Red Zone,” he said, adding that there were clear directions of the Su­preme Court prohibiting any protest in the high security zone of the capital.

Central President Kissan Ittehad Mian Umair Masood told The Nation that their talks with Rana Sanaullah had failed and they had de­cided to march towards the Red Zone following a meet­ing with the interior minister. “But Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif through a telephonic call has assured us to resolve our issues and to hold a meet­ing with us on Monday.”

The protesting farmers are demanding a decrease in tubewell electricity tariff and reduction in rates of fertilis­ers including urea and DAP (Di-ammonium Phosphate). They say that high increase in electrify tariff and prices of inputs have made it diffi­cult for them to do farming.

The farmers are demand­ing restoration of the previ­ous tubewell electricity tariff of Rs 5.3 per unit and an end to the black marketing of fertilisers. They are also de­manding to increase the mini­mum support price of wheat and sugar cane. They say that the government should give them loans equivalent to 50 percent of the value of their land by abolishing all strict requirements in this regard.