IMF conditions: Govt planning to tax agriculture income, says Zardari

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LAHORE: President Asif Ali Zardari has called for adopting a holistic approach and prudent financial policies to put the country on the path to development. He said different sectors of the economy, especially the agricultural sector, needed to be developed along modern lines. The government is planning to tax agricultural income as per the International Monetary Fund conditions, however, the provincial governments would be leading the initiative to tax large landholding farmers in accordance with their profitability and expenditures.

The president gave these remarks while addressing the Professor Waris Mir Memorial Seminar on Tuesday. A large number of journalists, academicians, political workers and members of the civil society attended the event.

The president highlighted that the media had given power to people by amplifying their voices, however, recent years witnessed grouping in media. He cautioned that a strong religious lobby in the world was manipulating and managing perceptions aiming to sow divisions in Muslim societies. He said he was a supporter of the freedom of press and had always tolerated harsh criticism from the media. Societies need to be careful against agenda-driven information. One has to face trials and tribulations in life, however, one needs to stay steadfast in the face of challenges.

He paid tribute to the political struggle and sacrifices of Benazir Bhutto for democracy, saying the Pakistan Peoples Party had a history of facing pressures and assassinations, but it continued its struggle for the cause of democracy in Pakistan. “Assassination attempts and political pressures could not deter us from our mission as we firmly believe that life and death are in Allah’s hands.”

He paid tribute to the services and contributions of the late Professor Waris Mir for democracy and journalism. He appreciated Faisal Mir and Hamid Mir for taking forward the legacy of their father.

Senior Journalist Hamid Mir, while speaking on the occasion, called for putting an end to the culture of political victimization and upholding the 1973 Constitution in its true spirit. Senior Journalist Sohail Warraich paid tribute to the services of Waris Mir for journalism and democracy. Appreciating the political wisdom and reconciliatory role of the president, he said the country was in dire need of political reconciliation and the president could play an instrumental role in addressing the political and economic issues faced by the country.

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