Farmers call off protest after govt assurance

Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Protesting farmers on Tuesday ended their sit-in after a breakthrough in negotiations with the federal government about their demands.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has constituted a ministerial committee to resolve the growers’ issues, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah told reporters after holding talks with the farmers. The committee, he said, would hold negotiations with the farmers on Wednesday and all their issues would be resolved. The minister urged the farmers and their supporters to return to their homes as the ministerial committee would address all their reservations. “The country will prosper once the farmers prosper,” he added.

The Kissan Ittehad, comprising farmers from across Punjab, has been demanding restoration of the previous tubewell electricity tariff of Rs5.3 per unit and removal of taxes and adjustments, among other things.

Kissan Ittehad Chairman Khalid Butt called off the protest when Rana Sanaullah said the government had agreed to the farmers’ demands, including delay in payment of electricity bills in instalments and cancellation of fuel adjustment charges. The other demands, the minister said, would be discussed by the ministerial committee with farmers’ representatives.

Rana Sanaullah said the prime minister would announce a package for farmers in a week or so, which would benefit the agriculture sector. Responding to a question about the PTI’s long march, he said they were fully prepared to deal with them. He chaired a meeting on Tuesday to finalise a strategy in this regard.