By Saeed Ahmad

The Senators have called upon the federal and provincial governments to take effective steps for development of agriculture sector in the country.

They were speaking during discussion in the Senate on a motion moved by Taj Haider regarding the multiple problems being faced by agricultural sector.

The members said that the agriculture sector is facing a number of problems including shortage of water, poor quality seeds, insufficient fertilizer supply and lack of best quality pesticides.

They said in order to meet the water shortage, more big and small dams should be constructed all over the country.

The members said that in order to meet the future demands of food in the country formulation of agriculture and water policies at national level is imperative. They said that these policies should be formulated in consultation with all the provinces and other stakeholders. They said there is also great need of land reforms to meet the challenges faced by agriculture sector.     

The Senators said there is also great need of land reforms to meet the challenges being faced by the agriculture sector.

Winding up discussion on the motion, Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan called upon the provincial governments to join hands with the federal government to address the challenges being faced by agriculture sector.

He said that under the 18th amendment 30 billion rupees out of 32 billion rupees have been transferred to the provinces and the provinces should use the funds for uplift of the agriculture sector.

The Minister said the federal government has announced Prime Minister's Kissan Package for providing relief to the growers.

The Minister said that the major challenge to the agriculture sector is cost of production which can be reduced by the cooperation of the Federal and provincial governments,

Those who spoke on the occasion include Mohsin Khan Leghari, Abdul Qayyum, Usman Khan Kakar, Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Mir Kabir, Kalsoom Parveen, Mohsin Aziz, Ilyas Ahmad Bilour, M Hamza, Rehman Malik, Sirajul Haq, Nehal Hashmi, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri and Mukhtiar Ahmad Dhamrah.

Speaking on a motion moved by Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh regarding the rights of tax filers, Minister for Law Zahid Hamid said that there are 19 provisions under which filers have benefits over the non-filers.

He said the FBR has issued a list of top taxpayers. He said they are issued special cards under which special privileges have been announced for them.

Speaking on a motion moved by Azam Khan Swati regarding transparency in development of Housing Schemes by the Ministry of Housing and Works, Minister for Housing and Works Akram Khan Durrani said that the government will construct ten thousand flat for the government employees. He said in F-14 and 15, ten thousand kanals of land has been acquired that will be used for government housing project.

Three resolutions were passed in the House today.

The first resolution which was moved by Chaudhary Tanvir Khan felicitated Pakistan cricket team on the achievement of number one position in Test cricket rankings.        

The second resolution recommended to the government to give incentives to local car manufacturers to boost up production of low priced vehicles in the country.       

The third resolution moved by Sassui Palijo recommended to the government to construct a 250 kilometer highway along the coast from Sir Creek to Karachi to serve as a wall against sea intrusion.

Two bills were introduced in the House today.

They include: "The Protection of Economic Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2016" and "The Corporate Rehabilitation Bill, 2015"

"The Protection of Economic Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2016" provides to amend the Protection of Economic Reforms Act, 1992.

"The Corporate Rehabilitation Bill, 2015" provides for the Rehabilitation and Restructuring of Corporate Entities.

The bills were moved by Saleem Mandviwala.

Speaking on a motion moved by Usman Khan Kakar and others regarding the plight of Pakistani labourers in Saudi Arabia, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada said that a delegation of Pakistan led by Minister for Overseas Pakistanis visited Saudi Arabia and met Saudi authorities and discussed the issue. The Saudi authorities said that all efforts and support will be provided for safe evacuation of Pakistani citizens. Pakistan embassy is also providing complete assistance to the Pakistani labour. He said there have the option to comeback, to shift to any other company or stay them for fight their case.

Speaking on a motion moved by Sehar Kamran regarding loan amounting to 408 million dollar taken by the government from Credit Suisse, Law Minister Zahid Hamid said that offer was made to all the banks and the lowest offer was accepted.

The House will now meet tomorrow at three p.m.

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