LAHORE - Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that measures taken for the welfare of farmers under the Kissan Package have yielded positive results and this proves the billions of rupees package has provided relief to farmers.

A bumper crop of wheat this year benefited small farmers, he said, and added that cultivated area had also been increased. He said that bumper crops next year will economically strengthen farmers.

Talking to elected representatives here on Saturday, Shehbaz said that farmers were his brothers and their welfare was very dear to him. He said the PML-N government had protected rights of farmers at every level and added that the programme aimed at providing interest-free loans to farmers was a milestone in the agriculture sector. He said that interest-free loans were given to over 160,000 small farmers in last six months. He said that interest-free loans of Rs100 billion were being given to farmers owning 12 acres of land and 600,000 farmers would benefit from this programme in Punjab. He said the Punjab government had given rights to small farmers and the interest-free loan scheme was an important step towards empowerment of farmers. He said it was the first time in the history of the country that interest-free loans were being given to small farmers and this programme was being implemented on a fast track. He said that agri production would increase and small farmers would become prosperous through this programme. He said this programme would prove to be a step towards a green revolution in the province.

The chief minister said that a transparent and foolproof system had been adopted to implement this programme and added that only small farmers would benefit from it. He said that landless farmers were also benefiting from this programme and the procedure to get loans by farmers had been made easy through the digital system.

The chief minister said that thousands of kilometres long carpeted roads had been built in rural areas under the Khadim-e-Punjab Rural Roads Programme at a cost of billions of rupees. He said this programme would go a long way in modernising the rural areas and farmers would be able to take their crops to markets in time. He said that agriculture was backbone of economy in Pakistan and guaranteed development and progress in the country and a source of earning foreign exchange. He said for this reason the Punjab government attached top priority to the agriculture sector and revolutionary measures had been taken for promotion of agriculture, welfare of small farmers and increase in agriculture production.

Also, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said “we are determined to making Pakistan peaceful, prosperous and strong and this is evident from the steps taken by the PML-N government”. He said that historic measures had been adopted for speedy development by the government, which also introduced new culture of saving billions of rupees in mega development projects.  In a statement on Saturday, the chief minister said that new examples of standard and transparency had been set by the PML-N government and nobody could level allegations of corruption of even a single penny in development projects. He said development and progress of the country was “our mission and people have always elected us on the basis of steps for development of the country and prosperity of people”. He said the PML-N had the credit of promoting constructive and positive approach in the country and added that now the country was stronger and peaceful than before. He said the situation demanded that the nation should stand united for development of the country.