The Punjab government has fixed August 22 as the last date for submission of applications for participation in the process for availing the Green Tractor Scheme under which 20,000 tractors would be given to the farmers on subsidised rates. Sources told Business Recorder that this scheme is meant for young farmers both male and females between the age of 18 to 35 years who can submit applications along with relevant documents at the offices of Assistant Commissioners concerned.
Those selected will be given tractors on subsidised rate of Rs 200,000 each. Under this scheme, only those farmers are eligible to apply who have land area not less than 2.5 acres in the respective tehsil and the area must not be more than 25 acres in case of irrigated and 50 acres in case of barani area. It is mandatory that the applicant have not availed such scheme earlier while the applicant must not be the defaulter of Zarai Taraqyati Bank Limited (ZTBL) and not have taken any loan from the Bank. Senators, MNA's, MPA's and the government employers having BS-17 or more are ineligible for availing this scheme.
It may be mentioned hat Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had also introduced this scheme during his previous tenure and a large number of farmers had benefited from the scheme. As per Auditor General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR)'s report, the Punjab government blatantly violated rules and regulations in this venture. As per report, the Agriculture Department initiated the project during financial year 2008-9 to provide tractors to the farming community at subsidised rates. Of the 94 tractors allotted in Lahore, 31 applications were not scrutinised at all, as no meeting of the scrutiny committee was ever held to ascertain credentials of the applicants per clauses I-IV and I-V defined in criteria instructions.
Moreover, no-objection certificates (NoCs) were not obtained from the ZTBL in all 94 cases as required vide Sr No 4 of the eligibility criteria. Moreover, the provincial government is scrutinising tractor manufacturing firms / importers, which moved applications to the Agriculture Department for supplying the tractors for this scheme.