Sindh government is planning to distribute 3,000 tractors under its programme to increase farm production. Official sources said that the Sindh government was finalising arrangements to launch its tractor scheme, announced in the current provincial budget. The scheme is meant to increase farm production by providing assistance to small and medium farmers in purchase of tractors, agricultural implements and setting up of tube wells.
The sources however said that the Sindh government needed to ensure transparency in the scheme, as its previous tractor scheme had raised eyebrows. Many farmers had complained that 1,600 tractors had been distributed among the influential politicians, leaving the poor growers empty handed even on the first day of the launch of the scheme.
The previous scheme was based on first come first serve basis that empowered the influential growers and promoted nepotism, the sources said, adding that the current scheme should be transparent, giving every farmer an equal opportunity to get a tractor.
“A ballot may be a good option to ensure transparency in the scheme,” they added.
Moreover, there were reports that most of the tractors distributed under the previous scheme were marked for purchase from a single company, which had a meagre share in the market with lowest sales volumes, while the major players were given only a small chunk of the remaining tractors. “Maximum benefits were given to a single company that had lowest sales volume, which gave unfair advantage to the lowest performer of the industry,” said a source in the industry.
“If the current scheme is launched on the pattern of the previous one, around 70 percent tractors would be purchased from a single manufacturer, which has the lowest sales and production capacity in the industry,” the soucre added. While expressing the hope that this time a level playing field would be provided to all existing players, he said it was the right time that the Sindh government proved the transparency of its tractor scheme.
News source: Business Recorder