LAHORE - Agriculture is the backbone of national economy while farmer’s prosperity is the foremost priority of Punjab government, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said yesterday.

“For this, our government has announced a historic package of Rs 100 billion for farmers,” the CM said while presiding over a meeting regarding implementation of Kissan Package. Provincial Minister for Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javed, Agriculture Secretary, Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board, Chairman CM’s Taskforce on Information and concerned officers were present in the meeting.

Shehbaz Sharif said that the federal and provincial governments have announced an unprecedented package for the development of agriculture sector and uplift of cultivators. He added that the package will leave a far-reaching impact on agri sector.

He further stated that the elements involved in the trade of spurious pesticides will not be spared and an indiscriminate crackdown will be launched against them.

According to the CM, the government is fully aware of the loss suffered by farmers in the past for which they will be compensated. He said that farmers will fully benefit from Kissan Package and will strive for development of agriculture sector and increase in per acre yield.

The Punjab government has also evolved a big programme of provision of interest-free loan to small farmers and its implementation will soon be started, he added and urged the agriculture department to play an active role to discourage the business of spurious pesticides.

Separately, the chief minister ordered the police high-ups to immediately arrest the accused of triple murder which took in Lahore’s Sabzi Mandi few days ago.

A delegation of complainants and Ravi Road traders met Shehbaz Sharif here yesterday and apprised him of the details of the incident. The CM ordered immediate arrest of the killers.

He also directed the authorities to increase security in Sabzi Mandi and said that security should also be provided to the complainants.

Punjab Inspector General Police, CCPO Lahore, DIG Operations, DIG Investigation and other police officials were present on the occasion.

Those who met the Chief Minister included Haji Muhammad Afzal, Haji Shabbir Ahmed, Haji Asghar, brother of deceased Haji Maqsood, Muhammad Usman and Shoaib Afzal.

Over a dozen accused have been arrested by police whereas raids are being conducted to nab three absconders.