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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has accused the ruling government of helping the Indian farmers by importing their products. Continuing his pressure on PML-N, Imran Khan lambasted the government for failing to help Pakistani farmers. He ridiculed the PML-N government and stated that across the world, national governments usually support their farmers, but PML-N government is, unfortunately, supporting Indian farmers.

Imran Khan gave the example of China for assisting its farmers. He argued that “In 30 years, China elevated around 700 million people out of poverty”. 

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He praised the farmer-friendly policies of China and India. Citing Indian government efforts, he explained that India is providing maximum facilities to its farmers in the shape of subsidy in fertilizers and cheaper seeds, and regular power bills for tube wells.

Referring to the closure of Sugar Mill owned by the Sharif family, Imran remarked that government had failed to compensate those farmers who had lost their jobs. Imran demanded that Sharif family should compensate them out of its own pocket rather than using the taxpayers’ money.

Imran Khan accused Nawaz Sharif of spending Rs 200 billion on Orange Train, while in contrast, the government spent only 70 billion for the prosperity of the farmers. He lambasted PML-N on wrong approach and twisted priorities.

Nevertheless, Imran Khan claimed that “the PTI is devising a policy for the well-being of farmers. If our farmers get what they deserve, our country will flourish instantly.”

Referring to the closure of Sugar Mill owned by the Sharif family, Imran remarked that government had failed to compensate those farmers who had lost their jobs. Imran demanded that Sharif family should compensate them out of its own pocket rather than using the taxpayers’ money.

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According to the recent report released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP),  the percentage increase in the Indian agriculture exports to Pakistan have been high in recent months but, in PML-N tenure so far, import-export figures with Indian have witnessed sharp fluctuations.

Indian farmers can produce at the lower cost due to various forms of subsidies and are earning more as compared to Pakistani farmers.

Indian economy has been consistently performing better than Pakistan. Therefore, it is natural that they will export more to uncompetitive Pakistan. For example, despite the efforts of some exporters to improve the quality of processing and packaging, the higher per-unit price of rice makes Indian exporters more wanted as compared to Pakistan.

Dr. Vaqar and Sajid Amin of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) argued that to improve the export position of Pakistan following five constraints need to be handled; “complex domestic and trade taxes regime, overvalued exchange rate, regulatory complexities, higher unit cost of electricity, fuel, and gas in comparison to competitor economies and weak trade facilitation.”

Read more: Urbanization and declining agriculture: How to balance them off?

The government of Pakistan must address the issues related to its agricultural exports to compete with India. Indian farmers can produce at the lower cost due to various forms of subsidies and are earning more as compared to Pakistani farmers. Unless the incumbent government doesn’t formulate a sound strategy, Indian farmers will continue to boost exports to Pakistan at the cost of domestic farmers as argued by Imran Khan.

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