The government has devised and implemented a transparent wheat purchasing system to protect farmers’ rights, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Monday.
He was addressing farmers after inaugurating the 2016 Wheat Harvesting Campaign in Sheikh Wahan, Khairpur Tamewali in Bahawalpur.
“This year, the number of gunny bags distributed per acre has been increased from 8 to 10. Delivery charges paid per bag have also been increased from Rs7.50 to Rs9. A representative of farmers will be present at each wheat purchasing centre. The farmers will be registered through a computerised system. They will also be able to file their complaints through an online system,” Shahbaz Sharif said.
The CM said that the support price had been fixed at Rs1,300 per 40 kilogrammes. “During the 2016 purchasing campaign, 4 million tonnes of wheat will be purchased at a cost of Rs130 billion. The government has set up 377 wheat purchasing centres in the province,” the chief minister said.
The chief minister announced the provision of tractors to small-area farmers on subsidised rates “In the coming fiscal year, the subsidy on tractors will be increased from Rs200,000 to Rs300,000. Farmers will also be provided Rs850,000 subsidy on diesel tube wells,” he said. He said that a historical package of Rs100 billion had been announced for farmers. The CM said that the Bahawalpur-Hasilpur Road would be completed in 2016.
He said that the energy crisis would be brought under control by the end of next year. “Those who staged the 2014 sit-in fear that if electricity projects are completed, it will spell the end of their [chances in] politics. These latest demonstrations show how worried they are,” the CM said. He said that the government had written to the Supreme Court of Pakistan to form a commission on the issue of Panama Papers. “We should wait for the commission’s verdict. If corruption is proved against us, we will be answerable to the people,” he said.
CM meets families of martyred policemen
The CM met families of policemen martyred during Operation Zarb-i-Aahan at Rajanpur police lines.
He said that the policemen had sacrificed their lives for a great cause. “They have set an example of valour. It is the responsibility of the government to take care of their families. The government will bear the expenses of the education of their children,” he said. The CM announced a Rs5 million compensation package for martyrs’ families.
He said that in 2000, criminal gangs had established themselves in the area. “Several operations were conducted against them. Now the army, rangers and police have finally eliminated them,” he said.
The CM paid tribute to the Pakistan Army, rangers and police for the successful conclusion of the operation.
“Today, the nation is facing the challenge of terrorism and extremism. Zarb-i-Azb is in progress. The Pakistan Army has achieved great success,” he said. The CM said that poverty and terrorism were linked. “Along with the equal distribution of resources, it is necessary to reduce the income gap between the rich and the poor,” the CM said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2016.