Rs3,200 per 40kg cotton support price sought

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MULTAN: Former National Assembly speaker Syed Fakhar Imam said that growers were reluctant to sow cotton this year and the government should immediately announce a minimum support price of Rs3,200 for seed cotton (phutti) of 40kg.

In a press release issued here on Sunday, Mr Imam said that last year the cotton production in the province had declined by 45 per cent which was unprecedented.

“Apart from the climate change effect, high input costs coupled with low cotton prices received by growers resulted in colossal loss of around Rs200 billion to the national economy,” he said.

He said the huge financial losses suffered by cotton growers last year had resulted into loss of Rs10,000 to Rs20,000 per acre.

He said the cotton production in the last few years had become very difficult on account of acute pest problems, unusual weather conditions, unorthodox seed technology, high input costs and negative return to growers.

“Historically, the cotton and cotton products have contributed up to 65pc of the country’s total export and 480 textile mills, 1,300 ginning factories and hundreds of added-value units rely on cotton as the main raw material,” he said.

He said about 2,000 expeller units crushed cotton seed to extract cotton seed oil which contributed towards 60pc of all edible oil produced in Pakistan.

Mr Imam said the by-product of the cotton cake made a large contribution to cattle fields as 40pc of all industrial labour was employed in the cotton sector.

“One can see a critical role the cotton production plays in the long chain of added value to the total economy of the country”, he said.

“It is incumbent upon the government to take emergent, immediate measures to promote and encourage cotton growers to meet targets of the cotton acreage in the country.

Thus it is vital to revive the cotton production as this will impact upon the total economy”, he said.

Mr Imam said the minimum support price of Rs3,200 for seed cotton (phutti) of 40kg would encourage cotton growers to meet the sowing target of 7.5 million acres in the country.

TAREEN: Senior Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Jahangir Khan Tareen says privatisation of public schools is indicative of mismanagement and incompetence of the government as thousands of teachers will be jobless after implementation of this policy.

Speaking to a delegation of the Punjab Teachers Union, led by Senior Vice-President Malik Sajjad Akhtar Awan here on Sunday, he expressed solidarity with the teachers of the government schools and demanded immediate reversal of the privatisation policy.

“In order to ensure adequate standard of education, it is imperative on the part of the government to build the capacity of educational institutions of this area. He said that as a matter of fact, privatisation of public schools is nothing but total management failure of the government.

He said the government should have provided additional resources for strengthening public schools for raising the educational standards in south Punjab. He said education sector was most neglected and low priority area for present government.

He said the government seemed to be more interested in projection, publicity and propaganda and not focusing on real core issues of socioeconomic development.

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