TOBA TEK SINGH-Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Bosan visited and inspected two Passco wheat purchase centres in Gojra tehsil here on Tuesday.

He went to Passco wheat purchase centre at Nawan Lahore and Korian Adda on Painsara Road.

On the occasion, he claimed that when wheat support price was increased by the previous PPP government, it also raised the rates of fertilizers, depriving the farmers of the benefits of the wheat price hike . Boson informed that increase in the wheat support price at this stage would prove to be futile and could be counterproductive.

The federal minister said that the Passco would ensure on the spot payment to the farmers as soon as they would bring their produce to procurement centres. He claimed that the Federal Finance Minister would announce agricultural reforms in upcoming annual budget. Boson also criticised the Sindh government for increasing the wheat support price, saying that it would have been better had the Sindh had made the announcement at the time of wheat sowing. The food minister also announced that the Passco would issue 12 gunny bags per acre instead of eight bags per acre.

Passco General Manager (field) Brig (r) Muhammad Arshad, MNA Khalid Warraich, MPA Qadir Awan and Gojra AC Tanweer Murtaza were also present on the occasion.

17 OFFICIALS BOOKED: The Kamalia Saddr Police registered on Tuesday case against 17 Forest Department Officials and their seven unidentified accomplices on charge of timber theft. The case has been registered on the written complaint of Faisalabad Divisional Forest Officer Javed Gill. He wrote to the Saddr Police that the accused including two block officers, four forest guards and their accomplices had stolen timber worth Rs1.3 million from Kamalia forest. No arrest has been made so far.