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LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Agriculture Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi has said that Punjab province is facing 22% water shortage while Sindh is facing 17% water shortage. The Indus River System Authority (IRSA) should immediately review this fact and fair distribution of water should be ensured to provinces on the basis of data and facts.

While addressing a press conference here on Tuesday along with Provincial Minister for Irrigation Mohsin Leghari and Special Assistant to Chief Minister for Punjab Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, he also highlighted the impact of water scarcity on agricultural production.

He said it is a fact that Sindh gets three times more water than Punjab. He said that farmers of Sindh are our brothers but the leaders of Sindh should refrain from politicizing every issue.

The Minister said: "The TP Link Canal should be opened immediately as the sowing of cotton crop is in progress and 95% of the cotton sowing target has been achieved this year but water supplied to the South Punjab through TP Link Canal has been cut off during this stage and lack of water in the early stages of cotton may lead to reduction in production. Similarly, in Punjab paddy crop is being sown and it is also in danger. It earns more than two billion dollars in foreign exchange every year, so a reduction in its production is likely to hurt the country's economy".

He said bumper crop of wheat has been achieved and the target of 20.9 million metric tons of wheat production has been achieved in Punjab as compared to last year which is a record.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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