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LAHORE: Punjab will continue offering subsidised fertiliser and power for tubewells to farmers in the next financial year.

“A substantial sum of Rs140.5 billion has been allocated in the next fiscal year to agriculture, irrigation, livestock, forests, fisheries and food while overall reduction in fertiliser prices will be maintained for farmers’ prosperity,” Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said while talking to a delegation of PML-N workers here on Sunday.

He also said that the government had decided to pay sales tax of more than Rs6 billion on agriculture tubewells for improving the living standards of small cultivators. Through the Kisaan Package, the foundation of green revolution had been laid as the package would leave a positive impact on the agriculture sector and farmers by helping increase per acre yield, he claimed.

The chief minister said each conceivable resource for promotion of agriculture was being utilised and steps being taken on priority basis for the prosperity and welfare of small farmers. It was the need of the hour to modernise agricultural sector and furnish it on updated patterns to make the farmers prosper. Every administrative and financial step would be taken for the purpose, he added.

He said for the first time farmers were extended interest-free loans and landless farmers would also benefit from this programme whose process would be made easy through a computerised system.

“We will establish a stable agricultural economy and make the farmers independent by helping them stand on their own feet.”

Shahbaz said that setting up Punjab Agriculture, Food and Drug Authority in the province was imperative to providing quality medicines and food to people.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2017