Gov’t gives preferential treatment to ensure food security, promotion of agriculture sector: PM

Gov’t vows to avert malpractices, ensure transparency in upcoming senate polls

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Prime Minister Imran Khan says ensuring food security, promotion of Agriculture sector and provision of farmers’ due rights is top priority of his government.

 

Chairing a review meeting on reforms in agricultural sector in Islamabad, he said revival and development of Agriculture sector by utilizing existing potential is a national priority to cope with the food security challenges and to curtail the import bill on food items.

 

The forum decided to constitute a committee under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan to expedite reforms process.

 

The committee will comprise of Federal and Provincial governments, private sector and experts which will finalise the Agricultural Transformation Plan and present it to the Prime Minister so that implementation on its recommendations can be ensured on priority basis.

 

In the first phase of Agricultural Transformation Plan, eight major steps were identified, which include reforms in the seed sector, introduction of digital subsidy, encouraging utilization of modern  machinery, effective use of water, provision of credit to farmers, reorganization of extension services, storage facilities and reforms in agriculture research.

 

Under the plan, cotton, olive, genetic improvement in, livestock and fisheries have been included in priority areas.

 

 

Planning Minister Asad Umar says the government will take every possible measure, within the Constitution, to ensure transparency in the upcoming Senate elections and to end horse-trading in the polling process.

 

He was briefing media in Islamabad this afternoon, along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Syed Shibli Faraz, about decisions taken at the federal cabinet, which met in the federal capital with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.

 

The Planning Minister said it is an open secret that sale purchase of votes has been a tradition in the history of Senate elections in Pakistan. He said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has come to power on the belief that it will take all possible steps to check horse-trading in the Senate polls for which it has tabled a Constitution amendment in the National Assembly to hold Senate elections through open ballot. Similarly, the government has also filed a presidential reference to the Supreme Court with a request for interpretation of the law pertaining to the Senate polls that whether these elections can be held through show of hands instead of the secret ballot. He said the government will respect apex court’s decision in this regard.

 

Asad Umar said the opposition parties, especially the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan People’s Party, had too promised in the Charter of Democracy to hold Senate elections in a transparent way, but now they are faltering from this commitment. He said we want to make the election process credible.

 

On the other hand, Planning Minister Asad Umar says the government will take every possible measure, within the Constitution, to ensure transparency in the upcoming Senate elections and to end horse-trading in the polling process.

 

Speaking on the occasion, Syed Shibli Faraz said the cabinet has approved extension of Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement for three months with effect from Thursday.

 

He said the cabinet also expressed displeasure on the unscheduled load shedding, and asked the authorities concerned to end this on urgent basis.

 

He said the cabinet was also apprised that government’s Roshan Digital Account initiative is yielding positive results and so far around 500 million dollars have been received under this project.

 

Talking about steps taken to control inflation in the country, the Information Minister said market committees have been abolished and district administration has been asked to control prices of the essential items to provide maximum relief to the common people.

 

He said the meeting was apprised that effective measures have been taken to curb smuggling of petrol, which resulted in ending a loss of 120 billion rupees in revenue.

 

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