Govt striving to improve farmers’ lives: minister


LAHORE: Provincial Agriculture Minister Muhammad Naeem Akhtar Khan on Friday said a hefty amount of Rs 140.50 billion have been allocated for an agricultural revolution in the province.

“Rs15 billion Kissan Package will definitely bring about economic prosperity to farmers,” he added.

Speaking to APP at his Punjab Assembly chamber, he said the government was especially focusing on agriculture and taking historic steps for promotion of this sector.

Since, he said, the Punjab was considered as the ‘Food Basket’ of the country, various incentives had been offered to farmers to enhance their productivity.

He said that so far Rs11 billion interest-free loans had been advanced to small farmers, adding that by providing such loans, the government helped them to get rid of the middle man. The minister said that the Punjab chief minister was showing a keen interest in resolving issues facing farmers.

More than 40 per cent of Punjab’s labour was engaged in this key sector and promotion of the sector would benefit a large number of people definitely, he added.

Under the package, various projects would be launched, including the provision of subsidised fertilisers to farmers and relief of Rs6 billion sales tax on tube wells to the farmers.

Answering a question, Naeem Akhtar said that the government was facilitating farmers with crop insurance since 2008 and seven lakh farmers have so far benefited from this scheme.

He said that courses were being organised for imparting training to farmers to make them learn the latest technologies.