Govt targets to eliminate stunting by 2030, NA told

Ijaz Kakakhel

Legislators of Lower House of Parliament on Wednesday was informed that the Government has prepared a comprehensive program worth Rs313 billion for addressing the issue of malnutrition amongst the children.

Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services, Nousheen Hamid told the House during the Question Hour that the Central Development Working Party has already approved the program.

The children were confronting multiple problems due to malnutrition across the country and the government was serious to address the issue properly.

She also said a program has been prepared on the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the target is to eliminate stunting by 2030.

National Assembly resumed its session at the parliament house with Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri in the chair.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan told the House that efforts are being made to introduce new seeds to increase the agriculture productivity including that of cotton.

He said we gave a special relief package of Rs50 billion to the agriculture sector after the break out of Covid-19.

He said subsidies were given to the farmers on fertilizers, pesticides and seed. He said as a result of these measures, the country witnessed a record wheat production of 27.5 million metric ton.

The Minister of State said it is the first time that the investment is being made to address the problems of the farmers.

He said a subsidy of Rs10 billion will be given to the farmers on different agriculture inputs for the Kharif season.

The minister told the House that cotton crop was on persistent decline during the last two governments tenures where sugar mills were established by the influential people. The cotton growing areas were used for sugar mills and production of sugarcane.

The incumbent government has taken appropriate measures to reserve the process from sugarcane to cotton production because production was backbone of the country.

This is a major shift and regretted that research were not done on cotton production enhancement. After the 18thconstitutional Amendment spending on agriculture sector were decline significantly by the provinces.

But despite of these shortcoming, the minister Ali Mohammad Khan said the government was able to increase 22 percent value added textile exports in last year.

Parliamentary Secretary for Water Resources Saleh Muhammad told the House that the work on Diamer Basha dam is in full swing. He said the installed electricity generation capacity of this project will be 4500 megawatts.

He said the construction of water reservoirs will help address the issue of water shortage.

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