LAHORE: Representatives of Pakistan Kissan Ittehad on Friday issued a one-week ultimatum, demanding the Punjab government to procure their wheat.

The farmers had taken to the streets against an inordinate delay in the purchase of wheat and the decision to reduce the provincial procurement quota from over 4 million tonnes to 2.3m tonnes.

Addressing a press conference, Chairman Khalid Hussain Bath condemned baton charge and arrests of farmers on April 29 – declaring it a ‘black day’ for them.

Punjab govt urged to maintain wheat procurement target

Terming their demands ‘legitimate’, the Kissan Ittehad said they were giving one-week ultimatum to Punjab government to procure their wheat or face ‘strong protest’.

Khalid Hussain warned that if the government fails to purchase wheat from farmers, they will block railway tracks and national highways in protest. The union also demanded that free solar facilities be provided to farmers in Balochistan.

Earlier, the Punjab police arrested scores of farmers, protesting against what they believe to be an unfair wheat procurement policy.

The protesters, led by Kissan Ittehad Pakistan, managed to assemble at the GPO Chowk on The Mall and attempted to march towards the Punjab Assembly, where a heavy contingent of police intercepted them. Police not only blocked the road by placing containers, but also arrested several protesters.

Punjab procured over 4 million tonnes of wheat every season to meet its yearly requirements. But, this year the authorities decided to slash the procurement target by half, claiming that there was a carryover stock of 2.3m tonnes already available.

The caretaker government — tasked with the day-to-day affairs and overseeing the elections — imported around 3m tonnes of wheat, which was more than the province’s needs and led to a huge carryover stock leaving little storage capacity.

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Aamir May 04, 2024 09:55am
Such scams of imported wheat have destroyed our agriculture.
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Ch K A Nye May 04, 2024 10:34am
Selling to the State procurement departments is a lucrative scam.
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KU May 04, 2024 02:04pm
Pakistan Kissan Ittehad does not represent farmers of country, they will have a hard time gathering a dozen people at tehsil level. Its sad but no organization exists for farmers welfare, they suffer.
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Maqbool May 04, 2024 04:35pm
Who bought or who ordered the Ukraine wheat , under the carpets as yet as usual ? Scam protection agency SPA at work . They'll appoint just another committee to investigate, results after retirement
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