Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the provincial government will buy 4 million tons of wheat from growers this year with a sum of Rs 130 billion.
Procurement process has already been started at 377 centres set up across the province. He was speaking at Kazim Agri Farm in Sheikh Wahan Khairpur Tamewali, Bahawalpur while formally inaugurating the wheat campaign 2016 on Monday. He personally operated the thrasher to inaugurate the campaign.
Later, addressing a big gathering of farmers, the Chief Minister said that with the grace of Almighty Allah and hard work of farmers a bumper wheat crop has been achieved this year as well.
He said that the number of gunny bags has been increased from eight to ten per acre and small cultivators will be given preference in the distribution of gunny bags. He said that delivery charges per gunny bag have also been increased from Rs 7.50 to Rs 9.00.
The Chief Minister said that in order to facilitate the farmers, presence of representatives of cultivators at procurement centres has been made compulsory while immediate redressal of grievances of cultivators has been ensured through registration of farmers through computerised system and citizens’ feedback.
He said that the support price of wheat has been fixed at 1300 rupees per maund. He said that 4 million tons of wheat will be procured this year with a sum of Rs 130 billion and procurement process has been started at 377 centres.
The Chief Minister also announced increase in subsidy on ‘Sastay’ tractors for small cultivators. He said that subsidy of Rs three lakh instead of Rs two lakh on ‘Sastay’ tractors will be given to small farmers from next financial year. He also announced subsidy for small cultivators on diesel tube-wells and said that this subsidy will be given on 8.5 lakh diesel operated tube-wells from next year’s budget.
He said that a historic package of Rs 100 billion has been given for the prosperity of farmers and development of agriculture sector and every penny of this package will be made available to the cultivators at their doorstep. He said that wheat procurement process has been made highly transparent and rights of small cultivators will be safeguarded at any cost.
Sharif said that sit-ins had failed in 2014 and these elements would not succeed in achieving their ‘selfish’ interests this time also. Shahbaz Sharif said that he is ready to face any accountability if corruption of even a single penny is proved against him. The Chief Minister said that load-shedding will be eliminated by the end of next year or the beginning of 2018.
He said that construction work of Bahawalpur Hasilpur Road will be completed this year and funds will be provided for this purpose also this year. Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Harmony Mian Riaz Husain Pirzada, Provincial Ministers Rana Sanaullah, Dr Farrukh Javed, Malik Iqbal Channer, Assembly Members and farmers were present on the occasion.
Source: Business Recorder