PM directs urgent measures to increase cotton produce

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said the produce of cotton crop played an important role in national economy and directed amendment in Seed Act and re-establishment of cotton committee on urgent basis.
Chairing a high-level meeting to review cotton policy and cultivation in the country, he also directed the ministries of finance, national food security and commerce division to give proposals on fixing the support price of cotton.
The meeting discussed share of cotton crops in overall produce of the country and other related matters including import, export and challenges.
The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for National Food Security Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Jahangir Tareen, producers and exporters of cotton and members of cotton committee.
The prime minister expressed concern over the gap between cotton production in different parts of the country and regretted that the area faced neglect by previous governments in terms of new seed harvesting, promotion of technology, adaptation of modern farming techniques and financial assistance to farmers.
He mentioned that apathy towards cotton cultivation not only resulted in gradual decline in production and discouragement of farmers, but also affected textile industry and exports.
The prime minister said steps for promotion of cotton yield were on the cards in consultation with farmers and relevant authorities.
The prime minister was informed that Chinese expertise on modern agricultural technology would also be adapted to increase yield of cotton crop and a Centre of Excellence was being established in Multan in that regard.
The government under the Prime Minister Emergency Programme was importing technology to save cotton crop from Pink Ball Worm, which would be shared with farmers on cheaper price.
A project of cotton farming was being launched in Balochistan in collaboration with MEC, a renowned company of China. Similarly, steps were being taken to promote the production of commodity in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and Sindh, informed the prime minister.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to wave off unnecessary taxes on small shopkeepers and to not put them in undue trouble.
The PM held consultations with the chief ministers and the Pakistan Board of Investment while taking notice of the taxes that are collected in the name of inspection and unneeded certification.
Imran Khan ordered to remove taxes on 15 small businesses and directed the provincial chiefs to instruct the Local Government Commission that the regime cannot allow harassing the traders in the name of unnecessary certification.
The PM said it is our priority to provide peaceful atmosphere to small shopkeepers. Subsequently, the provincial governments decided to remove taxes on 15 small businesses and to wave off inspection clause from 74 different trades.