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PM Ashraf urges parties to shun politics of allegations

06 December, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is being briefed on the working of Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) at its headquarters at Zero Point
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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said on Wednesday there was a need to shun the politics of allegations as it was portraying the country's wrong image abroad.

"The ongoing practice of putting allegations on someone without valid proofs has distorted the country's image in eyes of outsiders," he said at a function of Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited.

The prime minister criticised those who use the forum of television shows to accuse and dishonour others without investigating the facts. "If you call somebody wrong, bring proof, otherwise be good to yourself," he said.

He said politicians and their political statements go side by side but these should not be used to create differences and hatred.

Raja said that such practices could mar the confidence of foreigners into Pakistan. He said work on several mega projects, including Diamer-Basha Dam, Neelum-Jhelum and Thar Coal, involved billions of rupees, and said this must not hamper the investors' confidence in this country.

The prime minister expressed satisfaction that the democratic government was nearing completion of its five-year tenure. He said fair and transparent elections were the right of the people of Pakistan.

He said that the present democratic government is determined to provide food security to people.

The prime minister said food security was a big challenge worldwide which had surfaced after depletion of energy resources, increase in population and water shortage.

He said that in view of national and international challenges, the government was desirous of strengthening the agriculture sector, which would not only ensure food security but also contribute to the country's economy.

He also stressed on providing incentives to small farmers, saying that about 45 percent of the population was associated with the agriculture sector.

Raja said that prosperity of farmers and resolution of their problems was his government's priority. He added that agriculture was an effective way to control poverty and provide the rural population a mean to earn livelihood.

He mentioned several incentives given by the government to farmers, including an insurance scheme that covered five major crops – wheat, cotton, rice, sugarcane and corn – and increase in Produce Index Unit from Rs 1,200 to Rs 2,000.

He said that during 2011- 12, farmers were given loans worth Rs 198 billion rupees which was 17 percent more as compared to the last year. He said the support price of wheat on 40 kilogrammes had also been raised from Rs 625 to Rs 1,200. He said the government through its prudent agricultural policies had now become a wheat-exporting country.

The prime minister lauded ZTBL for providing assistance to farmers and particularly mentioned introduction of hybrid seeds and training being given to farmers to increase produce of their crops.

He also announced a bonus for all employees of ZTBL and pledged to further reduce the mark-up ratio for farmers on their loans.

End.

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