Pakistan: Imran Khan govt expected to face new challenge as farmers plan protest
Islamabad: PM Imran Khan might be facing a new challenge soon as farmers in the country are planning to protest in the upcoming days over a list of demands, including the fixing of the minimum support price (MSP) per maund (40 kilograms) of wheat at 2,000 Pakistani rupees ($12.60), and sugarcane at 300 rupees, in addition to setting a flat electric power rate of 5 rupees per unit for farm tube-wells, media reports said.
Multiple Pakistani farmer leaders, under the leadership of the organization Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (literally meaning Pakistan Farmers’ Unity) met on February 21 to work out a roadmap to launch an “India-like” protest in March, The Diplomat has learned.
A formal announcement might be made soon.
Other demands include subsidies on seeds, fertilizers, and other expenses borne by the Pakistani farmers, which they maintain is making agricultural activities insufficient for their sustenance, reports The Diplomat.
“We are launching an India-like movement in March against this anti-farmer government,” PKI President Zulfikar Awan told The Diplomat.
“The seed control rate has gone from 7,500 rupees to 14,000 rupees. The minimum support price for wheat was 1,400 rupees – we never even got that. Fertilizer was at 2,500 rupees, now it’s 4,500 rupees; urea was 1,300 rupees, now it’s 1,800 rupees. There is so much input-output disparity for Pakistani farmers that our produce just cannot compete with other countries,” he added.