Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Markup on agricultural loans: PML-F proposes waiver for flood-hit farmers

Pakistan Muslim League (Functional) PML-F on Tuesday proposed the government to waive mark-up on agricultural loans to flood-affected farmers of Sindh besides extending the loans' returning date. It also demanded formation of an independent commission to ascertain the reasons behind beaches of river embankments that led to flooding on a greater area in the provinces rendering thousands homeless.

The demand came at the party's provincial council meeting held here. The meeting demanded an exemplary punishment to the responsible persons, besides urging the government to consider the functional league's formula for immediate rehabilitation of the flood-hit people. A resolution adopted in the meeting urged the government to speed up efforts for restoring peace in Karachi.

Expressing concerns over increase in cases of abduction for ransom in interior parts of Sindh and targeted killings in Karachi, the meeting demanded of the government to bring the culprits to justice. The resolution maintained that the government should undertake the responsibility to make a sizeable cut in the prices of essential commodities, which have soared during the last two months.

It said the government was expected to reduce power tariffs as the country's water reservoirs have been filled to their full capacity to produce low-cost electricity. It criticised the government policy and urged it to withdraw unnecessary increase in the tariffs.

Later, speaking at a press conference, Senior Vice President of PML-F, Imtiaz Shaikh informed reporters about his party's proposals for resettling the flood-affected people of Sindh, saying a document has been evolved in this regard. He said the government should write off the mark-up on agricultural loans besides extending the payback date of the lending amount.

President Sindh Chapter of PML-F, Pir Sadruddin Rashdi dispelled the impression that the merger of two leagues was ever aimed at dislodging the present PPP-led government from power, saying it was only for strengthening the league. "The merger will support Muslim League and strengthen it and was not aimed at blackmailing the government," he said, adding the move should be seen as a constructive development.

When asked what political path would be for PML-F after its merger with PML-Q, as its merging group is sitting on opposition benches while it is in the coalition government with PPP, he said, "PML-F is sailing three boats- opposition, government and the establishment". Rashdi maintained that his party was totally against the forced change in the government. He insisted his party would continue supporting the government but would never compromise on good governance, saying deterioration in the good governance would lead the country to a fall.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2010

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