- Sharif says agriculture mainstay of national economy and a comprehensive strategy will be implemented for development of the sector
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said that agriculture was the backbone of national economy and a comprehensive strategy would be implemented for development of this sector.
He was presiding over a high-level meeting regarding the wheat procurement campaign 2016-17 which reviewed the arrangements made for providing maximum facilities to the farming community at wheat procurement centres.
Sharif said that 376 wheat procurement centres would be set up across the province and maximum facilities would be provided to farmers at these centres. He said that like previous years, interest of cultivators would be protected this year as well.
The chief minister said that due returns would be ensured to farmers and no one would be allowed to exploit them, adding that there was a bumper wheat crop this year and protection of interests of farmers would be ensured at every cost. He ordered that arrangements be made to facilitate cultivators at procurement centres and the process of distribution of gunny bags among famers be made fully transparent as well.
Sharif said that all necessary measures would be taken for stability of wheat prices and to ensure that cultivators were not affected by low wheat prices and recession in the international market. He also said that gunny bags should be issued on first come first served basis.
The CM said that middleman would not be allowed to exploit cultivators in the procurement drive and middleman or Arhti would not be able to participate in the process of wheat procurement. He said that complaint cells would be set up at the provincial, divisional, district and tehsil levels. He also said that any complaint in the procurement of wheat would immediately be addressed.
Sharif said that an effective monitoring system had also been introduced for ensuring transparency in wheat procurement process. He said that wheat would be procured from small cultivators on a priority basis and he would personally supervise the campaign.
The chief minister said the Punjab government had given a historic package of Rs 100 billion for the next two years for prosperity of farmers and uplift of the agriculture sector and its implementation would leave a positive impact on agriculture.