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BAHAWALPUR: The food department has dismissed four employees from service and suspended seven others for their alleged malpractice in the distribution of gunny bags during the wheat procurement campaign in Bahawalpur division.

The food department deputy director (Bahawalpur division), Chaudhry Muhammad Ajmal, told Dawn on Wednesday that action against the employees was taken on the complaints received against them during the wheat procurement campaign.

He said action against assistant food controllers and inspectors Abdul Quddoos, Ehsanul Haq, Mazhar Abbas and Rashid Mahmood besides others was taken after holding inquiries against them.

During the drive, he said, 14 wheat growers were booked at different centres for creating disturbance for the staff members and hooliganism.

COTTON SOWING: Cotton will be sown over 1,093,741 acre in three districts of Bahawalpur division this year.

The issue came under discussion at a meeting chaired by Punjab Agriculture Secretary Muhammad Mahmood here on Wednesday.

The meeting was told that 2,340 farmers were given away free (by draws) bags of high-quality cotton seed in the division.

The department would achieve 100pc targets in all the sectors of agriculture by June 30 in Punjab, where around 600,000 acre would be used for cotton cultivation this year, he said.

In order to achieve better results, he said, the government had increased the agriculture budget from Rs2.5 billion to Rs8 billion to provide assistance to the farmers.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2017