Wheat harvesting campaign in Punjab kicked off

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif Monday formally inaugurated Wheat Harvesting Campaign-2016 at Kazim Agri Farm in Sheikh Wahan Khairpur Tamewali, Bahawalpur.

He personally operated the thrasher to inaugurate the campaign. Later, addressing a big gathering of farmers, the chief minister said with the grace of Almighty Allah and hard work of farmers a bumper wheat crop has been achieved this year, says a handout issued here.

Number of gunny bags have been increased from eight to ten per acre and small cultivators would be given preference in the distribution of gunny bags.

The chief minister said delivery charges per gunny bag have also been increased from Rs. 7.50 to Rs. 9.00.

He said in order to facilitate the farmers, presence of representatives of cultivators at procurement centers has been made compulsory while immediate redressal of grievances of cultivators has been ensured through registration of farmers through computerized system and citizens’ feedback.

He said support price of wheat has been fixed at Rs. 1300 per maund.

He said four million tonnes of wheat would be procured this year with a sum of Rs. 130 billion and procurement process has been started at 377 centers.

The chief minister also announced increase in subsidy on Sastay tractors for small cultivators.

He said subsidy of Rs. 300,000 instead of Rs. 200,000 on sastay tractors would be given to small farmers from next financial year.

Shehbaz Sharif said 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 would be made available to the cultivators at their doorstep.

He said wheat procurement process has been made highly transparent and rights of small cultivators would be safeguarded at any cost.

“There was no allegation of corruption of even a single penny against Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and now decision of the commission should be awaited,” he added.

The chief minsiter said ruthless accountability of the elements getting their loans written off and plundering national resources would be held. He said time for accountability has come and this process would be completed transparently.

He said the fate of present conspiracy would not be any different from that of sit-ins of 2014.

He said construction work of Bahawalpur Hasilpur Road would be completed this year and funds would be provided for this purpose 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. APP