LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif presided over the first meeting of Punjab Agriculture Commission here yesterday.

The meeting reviewed the pace of implementation of Kissan package and the steps for the welfare of farmers. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that he had promised agriculture commission for the farmers which has been fulfilled like other promises and Punjab Agriculture Commission has been constituted by the government for agriculture development.

He said that Punjab Agriculture Commission will be autonomous and its separate secretariat will be set up. He said that government, in accordance with its promise, has given effective representation to farmers in agriculture commission. He said that this commission will be a milestone in welfare of cultivators and solution of their problems and decisions will be taken with the consultation of representatives of farmers’ organisations which will be immediately implemented.

Shehbaz further said that the role of the commission is of vital importance for the protection of rights of small cultivators. The Chief Minister also issued instructions for setting up sub committees for making the commission active and purposeful and said that sub-committees will be established with regard to food, livestock, irrigation and agriculture.

He directed that the most suitable persons should be selected for these sub-committees as this commission has to be made vibrant and active while agri policy is to be evolved on the recommendations of these committees. The Chief Minister directed to set up a committee under the chairmanship of Vice Chancellor of Agriculture University Faisalabad for devising agriculture policy and said that maximum representation will be given to the representatives of farmers associations in the committee on the pattern of agriculture commission to ensure in the preparation of agriculture policy.

He further said that historic Kissan Package has been given for the prosperity of small cultivators and increase in per acre yield and provision of every penny of the package to deserving persons will be ensured. He said that interest free loans will be given to small cultivators under Kissan Package and for the first time interest free loans will also be given to such small cultivators as are not the owner of the land. He said that agriculture is the backbone of national economy and package of billions of rupees has been given to the farmers first time in the history of the country. Shehbaz said that all out measures are being taken for the uplift of the farmers. He said that construction of modern silos is necessary for controlling wastage of grain worth billions of rupees. Issuing instructions for a crackdown against the elements involved in the trade of spurious agri medicines, the Chief Minister directed that elimination of this heinous trade be ensured.

He said that farmers cannot be left at the mercy of such elements and complete eradication of spurious agri medicines should be ensured in the province within next four months. Shehbaz Sharif appreciated the proposal of setting up Small Farmers Development Corporation for the welfare of small cultivators and said that final recommendations be presented in this regard.

leaves for Turkey today

Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will leave for Turkey today.

During his stay in Turkey, the Chief Minister will meet the Turkish President and other leaders of his government. The Chief Minister will also sign Memorandums of Understanding for cooperation with between Punjab and the Turkish government in various fields of development. He will also participate in the opening of Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge.