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LAHORE: Taking immediate notice of concerns shown by the growers on recently notified Sugar Factories (Control) (Amendment) Act 2021, the Punjab government has decided to withdraw all the amendments and submit it before the provincial assembly afresh to safeguard the interest of farmers.

These amendments will be presented in the next session of the Punjab Assembly and all the reservations of the farmers in this regard will be removed.

Punjab Minister for Agriculture Syed Hussain Jehanian Gardezi announced this during a press conference here on Friday. Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (PKI) Central President Khalid Khokhar were also present.

Gardezi claimed that Prime Minister Imran Khan also directed the Punjab government for immediate action after taking notice of reservations shown by the farmers. The farmers' organization and sugarcane growers had serious concerns over the Sugar Factories (Control) (Amendment) Act 2021 and gazette notification of amendments in Sugarcane Control Act 1950. The Punjab government took a serious note of the plight of sugarcane growers and issued instructions to address the legitimate issues of the farmers.

The minister said that 20.9 million metric tonnes of wheat was produced this year, which is a record in the history of province. He said this time rice crop has achieved a record production of more than 5 million tons while more than 7 million tons of maize crop and sugarcane along with mong and oilseeds have also achieved record production. The agricultural sector is being mobilized and efforts are being made by the government to revive the cotton crop so that it is not imported in near future.

Gardezi said this year the farmers have got timely and better compensation for their produce whereas in the past they were exploited through middlemen and market. He said the Punjab government has introduced Kissan Card for the welfare of the farmers through which they are being provided subsidized and interest-free loans in a transparent manner and so far 100,000 farmers have applied for the Kissan Card.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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