ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah has asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to withdraw all taxes on agriculture inputs and take other measures to ameliorate the plight of farmers. In a letter, Shah has asked the government to declare an agriculture emergency in the country. Referring to All Parties Conference (APC), which the Pakistan Kissan Ittehad had organised in February this year, Shah argued that dropping prices mean that profitability in almost all major crops has been wiped out over the past three years. “Pakistan’s GDP growth will decline sharply If not remedied immediately. Social unrest, crime and violence in the rural area is imminent” he warned. He endorsed a proposal to enhance agriculture tax exemption to Rs500,000 and allow duty-free import of all fertiliser by the private sector, besides fixing electricity at a flat rate of Rs5 per unit for tube wells.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2016.