Islamabad, March 20, 2019 (PPI-OT): The National Assembly Special Committee on Agricultural Products held its first meeting on Wednesday and unanimously elected the Speaker National Assembly Mr. Asad Qaiser as Chairman of the Special Committee. The Special Committee vowed to promote policy coherence and coordination at all levels of government to revitalize Agriculture in the Country. The former Speaker National Assembly and current Chairman of Special Committee on Kashmir Syed Fakhar Imam proposed the name of the Speaker Mr. Asad Qaiser as Chairman of the Committee which was unanimously seconded by all members of the Committee. Besides Mr. Asad Qaiser the Committee also included two former speakers Syed. Fakhar Imam and Dr Fehmida Mirza and representation of all the provinces, leading parliamentary parties, and women.
The Speaker thanked the Members of the Committee for expressing their trust in him and vowed to assign substantive meanings to Pakistan’s quest for agricultural prosperity. He outlined that the Committee will make comprehensive efforts to forge a vibrant coordination and cooperation mechanism between the provinces and federation to boost the nation’s agricultural capacity. He added that “Parliament will provide all the support to federal and provincial governments in order to realize the country’s potential in the sector. He remarked that the Special Committee seeks to forge a strategic dialogue on synergies between all the stakeholders including provinces, research institutions, academia, private sector, ministry of commerce and finance respectively.
Mr. Asad Qaiser stated that “Our farmers should not be left behind in Pakistan’s quest for economic development. The prosperity of the farmers is the foundation of a prosperous Pakistan. The Committee should particularly focus on the problems of the small farmers by improving their access to market information, services, finances and enhancing their collective bargaining power”. He added that the Special Committee seeks a renewed focus on helping the farmers to adopt sustainable practices and technological support to enhance their output. Mr. Asad Qaiser reiterated that “Our efforts are in line with the Prime Ministers’ declared National Agricultural Emergency Program”.
The Members of the Committee termed the decision to form a Special Committee on Agricultural Products a ‘historic decision’ and expressed that it was the first time that a high level committee has been formulated to address genuine concerns of the farmers. The members remarked that the Honorable Speaker has rendered a great service to the nation by constituting a special committee to address the problems that hampers Pakistan’s agricultural development. Mr.Asad Qaiser also constituted a working group headed by Syed Fakhar Imam to draft the Terms of the Reference of the Committee
The Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination and former Speaker National Assembly Ms. Fehmida Mirza said that revitalizing agriculture is central to boosting Pakistan’s economic development and alleviation of poverty, hunger and malnutrition in the country. She added that the essence of 18th amendment entailed a vibrant cooperation and collaboration between provinces and federation particularly in areas of export, fertilizers, research, innovation and international cooperation. She specifically underlined the need for inclusive consultation and dialogue with the small growers. In a bid to foster enhance cooperation between the provinces on policy coherence, she urged the Speaker Mr.Asad Qaiser to take the Speakers of the provincial assemblies on board. The Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce Ms. Shandana Gulzar Khan also urged the special committee to address the market failures and adopt an integrated and holistic approach to agricultural promotion in the country.
The Members said that the lack of a collective action and a unified front, the famers could not influence the agricultural policies that greatly affected them. They stressed the need for innovation, research, better quality seeds, Minimum support price for major crops, agricultural zoning and provision of subsides.
The Meeting was attended by Mr. Asad Qaiser, Speaker National Assembly, Minister of Energy (Petroleum Division) Mr. Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Dr Fehmida Mirza, Syed Fakhar Imam, Mr. Riaz Fatyana, Mr. Sher Akbar Khan, Engr. Usman Khan Tarakai , Mr. Imran Khattak, Malik Muhammad Ehsan Ullah Tiwana, Mr. Muhammad Farooq Azam Malik, Mr. Mujahid Ali, Mr. Fazal Muhammad, Mir Khan Muhammad Jamali, Mr. Rai Muhammad Murtaza Iqbal, Mr. Zahoor Hussain Qureshi, Ms. Shandana Gulzar Khan, Rao Muhammad Ajmal Khan, Mr. Sajid Mehdi, Nawab Muhammad Yousuf Talpur, Syed Javed Ali Shah Jillani.
For more information, contact:
National Assembly of Pakistan
National Assembly Secretariat,
Islamabad – Pakistan