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LAHORE: Chief Secretary Punjab Kamran Ali Afzal has said that the fear of shortage of urea fertilizer has led to panic buying and a higher demand than the actual requirement. The federal industries department has been requested to increase the supply and the situation in this regard would improve soon.

He stated this during a meeting with a farmers’ delegation at the Civil Secretariat. The meeting discussed availability of urea fertilizer, proposed GST on farm implements, crop seeds and measures to improve the agriculture sector. The delegates informed the Chief Secretary about the problems of growers.

He said that the transportation of fertilizers is being monitored through an online portal. He maintained that the effective administrative measures have helped end the smuggling of fertilizers. He said that he went to DG Khan and inspected the provincial border check-posts to review the arrangements to curb smuggling.

He said that transportation of fertilizer outside of the province without providing necessary documents is not permitted in any case. He said that action was also being taken against the officers and officials involved in black-marketing of fertilizers.

The Chief Secretary said that work on mechanization is underway to increase the agriculture production. He said that the provincial government is in contact with the federation over the issue of wheat support price and over-billing in electricity bills of tube-wells.

He also asked the Secretary Labour to implement the decision of increase in minimum wages for labourers. He directed the livestock department to ensure vaccination of cattle against fatal diseases on priority basis and design special projects for the improvement of livestock sector in the next annual development programme.

The delegates appreciated the efforts of government for the resolution of the problems of farmers. The delegation comprised of All Pakistan Kissan and Labour Ittehad Tanzeem President Sardar Mubashar Dogar, Pakistan Kissan Ittehad President Khalid Mehmood Khokhar, Shahid Mehmood Dogar, Zubair Gilani, Rao Khursheed Ali, Basharat Ali and Rana Akhtar. The secretaries of agriculture, food and labour departments were also present on this occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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