The caretaker government in Pakistan is calling for the strict enforcement of previously established cotton support prices. Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has taken decisive action against those who are taking advantage of the situation by purchasing cotton below the officially designated rate of Rs8,500 per 40kg. The move comes as a response to plummeting cotton prices in the region, with caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi also urging cotton farmers to stand firm and resist selling their crops below the government’s intervention price.
The current support price was set by former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in March of this year. Acknowledging the concerning situation, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that PM Kakar has taken notice of cotton purchases below the support price and has directed the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to investigate and report on this issue.
According to PM Kakar, this year’s exceptional cotton crop is a significant blessing for the country, and it is imperative that farmers receive the maximum benefit from it. The government is resolute in ensuring that the purchase price is adhered to, safeguarding farmers against any potential losses.
Prime Minister Kakar held a meeting with the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Sindh, urging them to take immediate action against those attempting to deceive cotton growers. During this meeting, various matters concerning the province were discussed, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the challenges faced by cotton farmers.
Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister @MohsinnaqviC42 called on Interim Prime Minister @anwaar_kakar in Islamabad today@PakPMO @GovtofPunjabPK #News #RadioPakistanhttps://t.co/72j087giaQ pic.twitter.com/jnCrml2f0T
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) October 15, 2023
In response to the crisis, CM Naqvi, along with Sindh’s caretaker CM Maqbool Baqir, has urged cotton growers not to accept prices below the officially announced intervention rate. Cotton prices in Punjab have reportedly fallen to Rs6,500 per 40kg, significantly below the federal government’s promised rate of Rs8,500, which was announced at the beginning of the sowing season.
Prompted by these alarming developments, the PM’s swift response and the call for a report from the Trading Corporation of Pakistan signal a commitment to rectifying the situation. The intervention of the TCP is expected to have a stabilizing effect on cotton prices.
CM Naqvi has requested cotton growers to withhold their produce and not accept lower prices. Both the Punjab and Sindh governments are diligently working to ensure that growers receive the promised rate of Rs8,500 per 40kg. He stressed that farmers should retain their crops, preventing further declines in cotton prices, as the government remains firmly committed to supporting them throughout this challenging period.
This initiative underscores the government’s determination to secure fair prices for cotton farmers and protect their livelihoods. It serves as a vital reminder of the significance of the agricultural sector in Pakistan and the need to ensure that those who drive the nation’s cotton industry are provided with the support they require.