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Virgin state land be distributed among people for cultivation
08-04-2011, 12:32 PM
Post: #1
Virgin state land be distributed among people for cultivation
Islamabad—Mr Zahid Malik, Editor-in-Chief, Pakistan Observer, has suggested the Government should draw up a multi-pronged strategy to harness the vast resources of land, water and manpower to put Pakistan on the path of development and stability.

Giving his suggestions during Prime Minister’s Dialogue with the Nation programme here on Wednesday, Mr Zahid Malik suggested the distribution of state land, free of cost, among the landless people irrespective of their political, sectarian or ethnic affiliation. The millions of new land owners could harvest crops and fruits and turn Pakistan into a major grain exporter and thus earn valuable Foreign Exchange in abundance. He pointed out that as per UN report, world food prices would continue to rise and in this situation Pakistan cannot afford to import food items but instead turn itself into a food exporting country.

Addressing the Prime Minister, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Mr. Malik said it is shameful that every year precious water goes to the sea during monsoon and instead of its productive use, it has become a regular problem in the shape of floods. He said from his point of view it was both criminal as well as sinful. He said it is a sin if the bounties bestowed by Allah Almighty are left unexplored. Therefore, he stressed that the unutilized virgin land be distributed for cultivation and storages built to harness the scare water resources. “Every inch of virgin land, which runs into millions of acres, should be fully exploited and without wasting any more time,” he emphasized.

Mr. Malik while appreciating Prime Minister’s priority to health, education and welfare of people suggested that these areas be left to the private sector and NGOs and the Government should act as a facilitator and regulator. However, the Government should make it obligatory for the recipients of its support to necessarily reserve a part of their services for the low-income people of Pakistan, Mr. Malik added.

He said many people would be willing to set up schools, colleges and hospitals and dispensaries if facilities like free land are provided to them and in return they could allocate a part of their facilities free of charge for the poor. He particularly suggested opening of free dispensaries in major cities by existing private-sector hospitals if the government encourages them. He said in this way the Government would be saving billions of rupees being wastefully spent on Government-facilities which could be utilized in the existing health and educational facilities by improving and expanding their capacity. Mr. Zahid Malik also referred to the big human resource potential of Pakistan which, he said, could double the Foreign Exchange being earned by the Overseas Pakistanis at present. He said there is still a lot of scope to absorb Pakistani manpower in the Gulf States and Western countries but the nature of demand has shifted now from unskilled to skilled-manpower.

Therefore, he said the country would have to arrange small, low cost vocational training facilities at the district level for imparting training regarding mechanized construction, repair and maintenance of machineries. There should be Training Centres near their homes so that they get the required market-oriented training and then they could be despatched to various destinations.
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