PM launches Kisan Portal for ‘voiceless farmers’

Underscores importance of food production to help farmers, counter challenges posed by population


Our Correspondent October 15, 2021
PHOTO: FACEBOOK/IMRAN KHAN

ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday called for increasing the food production in the country, saying that the rising imports of “things such as wheat, sugar, palm oil and lentils” put “temporary” pressure on the rupee.

Addressing the launching ceremony of the Kisan Portal, the prime minister emphasised that the government was helping small farmers as a national duty “because when you help them [small farmers], you help all of Pakistan”.

“It is our duty to help them. More than 90% of farmers are small farmers whose voices do not reach us, do not reach those in power or those in cities,” Imran told the ceremony, adding that these small farmers had to work hard, and were subjected to difficulties and oppression.

The premier said that the Kisam portal had been launched under the Pakistan Citizen’s Portal to “help raise the voice of small, voiceless farmers”. A total of 123 dashboards have been set up at the federal and provincial levels under the ‘Kisan Portal’ to help farmers resolve their issues on a priority basis.

He said that the pressure on the rupee was temporary and would be over soon. He mentioned that imports grew 53% in the past year alone. The “temporary” pressure on the rupee was because Pakistan imported things such as wheat, sugar, palm oil and lentils.

The prime minister added that the price of palm oil almost doubled in the international market and had a negative impact on the rates in Pakistan. Similarly, he said, Pakistan had to import wheat, sugar and pulses.

“We are trying to produce the things we import,” he said. “We need to increase food production by helping farmers, as our population is also increasing”.

The prime minister explained that the Kisan card would enable small farmers to get direct subsidies, and directly receive money for subsidised pesticides as well as in cases of emergencies.

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“Small farmers will now have insurance that will enable banks to give them credit, which they did not do in the past,” he said.Exporting manpowerAdditionally, the prime minister also chaired a review meeting on Friday regarding priority sectors.

Describing the overseas Pakistanis as the country's ‘precious asset’, PM Imran said that Pakistan’s embassies have been directed to ensure the export of skilled manpower in cooperation with the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training as well as the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis.

He said with a comprehensive policy formulated for the first time, all institutions were making plans through mutual cooperation and by keeping in view the international requirements of manpower.

The prime minister said the government was committed to providing all possible facilitation to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs). He issued the directives to take care of the stipulated timeframe on measures for priority sectors.

The meeting was informed that Overseas Employment Portal had also been launched to enhance manpower exports, and would serve as a link between the overseas employment opportunities and the candidates.

The prime minister directed for early completion of the measures to increase the export of manpower.

(WITH INPUT FROM APP)

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