Islamabad: Farmers in Pakistan's Punjab on Monday approached Lahore High Court (LHC) against the provincial government's refusal to purchase wheat from the farmers, ARY News reported.

According to details, Farhat Manzoor Chandio has filed a petition in Lahore High Court, challenging the Punjab government's refusal to purchase wheat from farmers.

The petitioner stated that the government is bound to purchase wheat from farmers at the official price and they had announced a policy to buy wheat from farmers at Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 3900 per maund. However, the government has not implemented the policy.

The Punjab government was supposed to purchase wheat from farmers from April 22. However, no development has been made so far on buying wheat, forcing farmers to sell their crops at low prices due to rains, according to ARY News report.

The petitioner requested the court to order the government to buy wheat from farmers and take action against the mafia.

Punjab government has not made a decision on wheat procurement yet, ARY News reported citing sources with the Food Department.

Meanwhile, farmer leader Sultan Javed said that the deadline for the decision has been set for Monday and an announcement about the future course of action will also be announced, according to sources, ARY News reported.

He welcomed Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's decision to raise the target of wheat procurement. He further said, "We hope the Punjab government will also make a similar announcement soon."

Before this, Sharif took strict action over the complaints of farmers and asked the federal government to immediately purchase wheat from farmers. He also raised the target of wheat procurement from 1.4 million metric tons to 1.8 million metric tons, according to Pakistan PM office's statement.

Earlier on Friday, Opposition members in the Punjab Assembly boycotted house proceedings on Friday, as reported by Pakistan-based Dawn, to show solidarity with wheat growers. They also announced plans to launch a protest on Monday against what they termed the poor wheat procurement policy of the incumbent government.

The issue of wheat procurement was raised in the house for the third day, with both the treasury and opposition members expressing dissatisfaction with the government's assurances about procuring grain from local farmers, according to the Dawn report.

They expressed concern that an unclear official procurement target and the unusual delay in starting the procurement drive were affecting the local grain market to the disadvantage of growers.

Punjab Food Minister Bilal Yasin stated that the moisture level in the grain at present was high, up to 18 percent, which prevented his department from purchasing the produce as it could cause a loss to the government after drying and reducing its weight.

Punjab Assembly Speaker Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan said the government had fixed the minimum support price of wheat at Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 3,900 per 40 kilogram. However, it was being sold at PKR 3,200 in the open market as growers were unsure whether the department would purchase their produce from them, unlike in the past.

Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan noted that billions of rupees of the farming community were lying with middlemen, and sugarcane growers were worried about the recovery of their dues from the mills, as reported by Dawn.

Sunni Ittehad Council chief whip Rana Shehbaz said his party had boycotted proceedings of the house and would launch a protest campaign on Monday to support the growers being affected by the government's policy. He added that his party was in contact with all farmer groups for including them in the protest.

This report is auto-generated from a syndicated feed