LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that farmers are the backbone of agriculture sector. He said that Punjab government is implementing a comprehensive programme of welfare of farmers and development of agriculture sector.

He was presiding over a meeting to review ongoing wheat procurement campaign, yesterday. The chief minister directed to ensure protection of rights of small cultivators in ongoing wheat procurement campaign at every cost and said that if a complaint is received in this regard, the responsible will not be spared.

Provincial Ministers Rana Sanaullah Khan, Bilal Yasin, Dr Farrukh Javed, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Chief Secretary and concerned secretaries were present on the occasion. Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said that safeguarding the rights of small cultivators is priority of the government.

He said that interest of farmers is very dear to him and all out steps are being taken for their betterment.

He said that like the past, solid steps have been taken for the transparency of wheat procurement process this year. He said that wheat should be procured from small cultivators on priority basis and they should not be left on the mercy of middleman.

He directed to constitute a committee for making the mechanism of wheat procurement more effective and free of flaws which will review in detail the existing system. He said that if any problem was faced by the cultivators then the committee will evolve recommendations for its resolution.

He said that concerned departments will have to facilitate farmers at all costs and it is top priority of the government.

Earlier, Secretary and Director Food gave a detailed briefing regarding ongoing wheat procurement campaign in the province.

They told that process of wheat procurement is continuing transparently and all out facilities have been provided to the farmers.

They said that more gunny bags have been provided to small cultivators this year and wheat has been procured from them.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 20-May-2016 here.