Budget Deficit of Rs. 1.352 Billion for FY 2018-19 and a 50 per cent cut proposed in next budget of 2019-2020 will paralyze agricultural research activities and badly affect the lives of the employees and Scientists.(Dr. Tariq Sultan, President, PARSA)

Islamabad (6th May, 2019): Joint action committeePARSA & EAPARC, PARC held a common protest at Islamabad Press Club against the attitude of M/o Finance, Govt. of Pakistan and demanded release of funds of Rs. 1352/- million as liability grant to meet the funds of PARC employees on account of pension commutation, PM family assistance package for deceased employees, new hiring and arrears 50% increase in rental ceiling etc. They also demanded increase in next year budget of PARC without any cut. The protest was held at Islamabad Press Club after rally procession starting from PARC HQ to Islamabad Press Club in which different media persons of Electronic and Print media participated.

Talking to the participants and press media during the rally at National press club, Islamabad today President Pakistan Agricultural Research Scientist Association, Dr. Tariq Sultan said that Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) is the apex national agricultural research organization of highly qualified scientific manpower has played a key role for ensuring the national food security.  Owing to the hard-work of these scientists Pakistan is now self -sufficient in its major food items like wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize etc. He further added that PARC is serving the nation for the last 40 years. In this period, PARC has achieved many successes in the field of agricultural research. Giving some examples, he said that PARC’s coordination system succeeded to give more than 600 varieties and hybrids of different crops to the farmers. Moreover, PARC research work has also been able to screen out various disease resistance varieties especially rust resistant wheat varieties. PARC also helped to strengthen the national agricultural research system (NARS) not only through establishment of its research centre/institutes/stations all over the country but also developed human resources and releases millions of funds to the provinces and universities through its Agricultural Linkage Program ( ALP) in the shape of competitive grants.

Millions of disease free banana plants developed through tissue culture have been distributed to farming communities in Sindh. Bio-fertilizers has also been developed, got registered and promoted for better productivity of cereal & legume crops. High Zinc wheat was released to combat malnutrition.  Pesticide residue monitoring system is being developed in agricultural food value chain. Accredited laboratory testing services were provided for food quality, safety and ensuring country avian influenza free. High yielding garlic variety and prototypes of innovative machinery for post-harvest management especially sugar-cane crusher & Ispaghol processing were also developed in collaboration with private sector.

Dr. Rashoan Zada, General Secretary, PARSA emphasized that PARC has contributed significantly in national economy yet it has been in a serious financial crunch of Rs. 1.352 Billion for FY 2018-19 which is budget deficit. This financial liability to be paid in pension and commutation (58%), Establishment (19%) and Operational (23%). This situation has badly affected the research activities. He informed that for next year approximately 50 per cent cut has been proposed against our demand. He told the press that the case for this financial demand for PARC is in the process of approval for months and still we are waiting for the finances. He further explained that apart from demand of our previous budget, we need to have allocation close to our requirements of FY 2019-2020.  He demanded the our future requirements must be added to Government‘s document before the announcement of financial budget.  

On behalf of PARC employees Association, Ch. Aslam Gujjar spoke to the participants and demanded to the Government specially Ministry of National Food Security & Research and Ministry Of Finance to provide finances of Rs. 1352 million to PARC immediately in order to sustain strategic agricultural research and avert any further financial crises. Members of joint action committee also thanked the electronic and print media for highlighting the protest held earlier in the media. At the end of press conference, questions answer was also held which was responded satisfactory by members of joint action committee of PARSA and EAPARC.

(Hassan Sajjad)
Director / Incharge (PR&P)
Mobile 0333-5326249
Edited by: Dr. Muhammad Arshad Ullah
Director (SC&P), NARC