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LAHORE: Expressing satisfaction that the record harvest of wheat, sugarcane and other crops has been achieved in 2020-21, Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar said on Thursday that steps taken for the betterment of farmers have started yielding positive results, to develop the agriculture sector on modern lines.

“The 40-kg support price of wheat and sugarcane has been ensured at the rate of Rs.1800 and Rs.200, respectively, he said. Meanwhile, 2.09 million tonnes wheat, 57 million tonnes sugarcane, 56.82 lakh tonnes potatoes, 19.25 lakh tonnes green gram, 78.52 lakh tonnes maize, 53 lakh tonnes paddy rice and 90 thousand tonnes sesame crops have been produced in Punjab,” he said in a statement.

The CM said, “It is satisfying that the maiden agri policy has been approved and being implemented in the province, about 147 new crop varieties have been approved by Punjab Seed Council and 146 new grain markets are registered under Punjab Agricultural Marketing Regulatory Authority Act.” He said the government was paying Rs.1.5 billion premium to the insurance companies for crops’ insurance and the subsidy amounts were being directly transferred to farmers’ accounts due to the launch of kisan cards, he mentioned.

Highlighting the PM Emergency Program, the CM affirmed that the work is in progress on numerous agri projects valuing Rs.300 billion. Rs.12.5 billion subsidies are given on fertilizers along with Rs.4.4 billion subsidies for the purchase of certified seeds and agri machinery. Similarly, farmers are given Rs.650 million subsidy for buying laser land levellers in addition to the provision of interest-free loans costing Rs.45 million through an e-credit scheme, he said. A sum of Rs.3.62 billion is reserved for purchasing the latest drip/sprinkler system with the facility of 60 per cent subsidy, he disclosed. Similarly, Rs.42.90 crore is allotted to install the solar system with the facility of a 50 per cent subsidy, concluded the CM.

The CM further said the PTI-led government has removed the deprivations of South Punjab and a new era of development has been started to include South Punjab in the development process.

“The government believes in performance instead of hollow slogans,” he said, adding: “South Punjab Secretariat has been given administrative autonomy and 17 departments are attached with it.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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