Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Food Security Jamshad Iqbal Cheema Saturday said that agriculture sector development and prosperity of farming community across the country was top priority of the government. He said that farmers received Rs2,708 billion for their produces, which was higher by Rs680 billion as against the receiving of financial year 2018. Responding to a statement of Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Butto Zardari, he said that during the tenure of incumbent government, the farmers get Rs 1,100 billion additional income from five major crops and milk production. He termed the statement baseless, against the facts and a negative propaganda against the government. He said that during current season what growers were expected to receive Rs 500 billion more as compared to last season as during the tenure of incumbent government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf wheat output was likely to reach historic high of 28 million tons. The agriculture sector development and prosperity of farming community across the country was the top priority of the government,he said adding that progress in agriculture sector was the result of pro-farmer policies of the current government. Jamshad Iqbal said that government had fixed minimum support price of wheat at Rs 1,800 per 40 kg, which was equal to international markets rate and would encourage the local grain production. He said that Agriculture Department of Sindh was receiving Rs150 per bag issued during current procurement drive, which he said would go to the pockets of the corrupt agents appointed by the provincial government. He further said that no protest was witnessed during the incumbent government, adding that farmers had burnt their produce including cotton and sugarcane during the governments of Pakistan Muslim League and PPP. He said the during the tenure of last two governments of PML-N and PPP, farmers of sugarcane organized protest against the sugar mills owned by them and not paying their outstanding amounts to farmers. Jamshad Cheema said that both governments of past were using different tactics for exploiting farmers by starting mills late and buying sugarcane at the rate of 120 through middle men against the fixed rates of Rs180. He said that Bilawal must remember that crop including cotton,onions, tomatoes and chillies were destroyed due to rains in different districts of Sindh and measures were taken to compensate the farmers. He further said that these exploiters were the main character behind sugar crisis, adding that government was dealing with iron hands with such elements. He said sugar production during current government also increased as compared the production of 2011-18 and reached to 5.6 million tons. He said excessive sugar was available for domestic per-capita consumption of average 25 kg, adding that there were no deficiency of any food commodity in the country. He said that many mills owned by Bilawal and Nawaz were still defaulters and billions of rupees of farmers were outstanding. Special Assistant told that government had also increased per unit electricity subsidy and provided subsidized electricity for tubewell to enhance per-acre output. The government is introducing Kissan Card in order to bring more efficiency and transparency in farmers friendly polices, adding that due to these policies and subsidy scheme, the prices of different fertilizers were remained stable. Backward areas: Provincial minister for agriculture, Syed Hussain Jahania Gardezi said that Punjab government was taking practical steps for the uplift of backward districts. He directed the departments concerned to ensure completion of ongoing uplift projects timely and also utilized available funds before June 30. He expressed these views while presiding over district coordination committee meeting on Saturday. He asked district administration to ensure implementation of Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) strictly and strict monitoring of demand and supply and rates into the open market also. Deputy Commissioner Agha Zaheer Abbas Sherazi said that there were 192 active corona cases in the district and added that strict price checking was being ensured to control inflation. Later, provincial minister paid surprise visit to Ramadan bazaar and checked the subsidized rates of sugar, flour and other items. He expressed satisfaction over arrangements and subsidy and directed administration to ensure implementation on corona SOPs. He said that the provincial government had announced biggest Ramadan package of the history.