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March 22, 2021

Farmers threaten to march on Islamabad if demands not met

National

March 22, 2021

TAKHTBHAI: The farmers on Sunday asked the federal and provincial governments to announce a special relief package for the growers’ community forthwith or else they would march on Islamabad to get their rights.

Speaking at a meeting of farmers at Hathian Jewar near here, provincial chief of the Kissan Board, Rizwanullah, and legal advisor Zahoor Khan advocate said that growers were faced with a host of problems due to the indifferent attitude of the federal and provincial governments.

They threatened that they would march on Islamabad if their problems were not resolved forthwith.

Kissan Board, Takhtbhai tehsil, office-bearers Jawad Khan Khattak, Ghafoor Khan, Muhammad Noor, Niamatullah, Farhad Ali and others were also present on the occasion.

Rizwanullah asked the government to fix Rs300 per kilogram for the ensuing tobacco produce as the expenditures on the crop had increased manifold.

The speakers said the farmers should be provided interest-free loan up to Rs0.2 million each so they could meet the current expenditures on the tobacco crop. The farmers’ representatives also demanded the government that the subsidy on fertilizers and pesticides be paid to the growers.

They said that sugarcane price should be hiked to Rs300 per maund and opposed imposition of taxes on gur-making units (ghanis), terming it an injustice with the poor farmers.

They said that steps should be taken for the export of gur, which would help give a good return to the growers of sugarcane crop in the province.

The farmers’ leaders also urged the officials of relevant departments to take notice of the nonpayment of tobacco growers and direct the defaulting companies to pay the hard-earned money to the growers for their produce purchased several months ago.

They threatened that the tobacco growers from Mardan and Swabi districts would stage sit-in outside the defaulting companies if they did not pay dues to the farmers immediately.

They also stressed the need for close liaison between the farmers and the officials of the Agriculture Department as it was necessary for prompt resolution of the former’s grievances.