LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said 600,000 small farmers would benefit from the Kissan Package which has been prepared after the consultation of all the stakeholders.
The chief minister expressed these views while chairing a meeting held on Thursday to review progress on the implementation of the Kissan Package and the provision of interest-free loans to the small farmers.
Partner banks assured the chief minister to achieve the targets of loans to small farmers in stipulated time. Addressing the meeting, Shehbaz said for the first time in the history of Pakistan farmers were being provided interest-free loans and this programme would boost agricultural production.
He said the Punjab government has made the whole process transparent with the use of the modern technology.
“The process of loan procurement has been made easy for small farmers through digital system so that small farmers get maximum benefit from the package,” Shehbaz added.
The meeting also decided to end prescribed fee to obtain interest-free loan. Shehbaz said the Kissan Package has vital importance in boosting agricultural economy and all the targets of the programme would be achieved. He said 600,000 small farmers would benefit from Rs100 billion Kissan Package.
He said the programme has been prepared after the consultation of all stakeholders and farmers who do not own any agricultural land would be benefited from this package.
“Loans worth billions of rupees were written off on political basis in the past while no loans were provided to farmers.
But the PML-N government, for the first time in the history of Pakistan, has provided loans to the small farmers,” Shehbaz remarked.
The chief minister said the finance minister would review the loan programme fortnightly, while the CM himself would review the progress every month. Provincial ministers Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Mian Atta Muhammad Manika, Naeem Akhtar Bhbha, advisers Dr Aijaz Nabi, Dr Umer Saif, PLRA Chairman Rana Babar Hussain, chief secretary, SBP deputy governor, partner banks, and other officers concerned attended the meeting.
Shehbaz said 3,600MW gas power projects would end loadshedding and citizens would get cheap electricity. He also urged the German firm Lahmeyer to use its professional experience for timely completion of power projects. German firm official assured the chief minister work on all projects would be carried out as per the expectations of the chief minister.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2017.