ISLAMABAD - The Board of Governors (BoGs) of Pakistan Agriculture Council (PARC) Tuesday approved Rs 2,753.212 million annual budget for the current financial year (2013-13) to meet its development and non-development expenditures.

Out of total outlay, Rs.1817 million would be provided by the government and the council would generate Rs.60 million through its own resources while remaining Rs.876.212 million would be provided as supplementary grant. 

The 34th BoGs meeting was presided over by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) Mir Israr Ullah Khan Zehri, which among others was attended by its members from public as well as private sectors.

The board also approved the ad-hoc relief of 20pc, increase in conveyance allowance, 20pc increase in pension besides approving enhancement of leave encasement from 180 days to 365 days and other allowance as announced by the government.

The BoGs meeting was also informed about budget estimates of the last year and their utilisation. The members were informed that budget of Rs 1605 million was approved for 2011-12 to meet the development and non-development expenditures of the council.

Afterwards, the budget was revised to Rs.1629.831 million, however the actual expenditure during the year stood at Rs.1628.996 million. Speaking on the occasion, the federal minister said that agriculture scientists have challenging task of coping with the future food requirements keeping in view the increasing trend in the population of the country.

He said that government was working for the development of agriculture sector with special focus on uplifting the small farmers of far-flung and less developed areas of the country.

Zehri said that the government has spent more than Rs.500 billion for the development of agriculture sector besides establishing a full-fledged ministry for ensuring food security in the country.

He said that output of the agriculture could be boosted with the introduction of laser technology that would help reduce use of water for agriculture produce. He said that the research in agriculture was focused on ensuring food security and self-sufficiency, poverty alleviation and overcoming water crisis.

On the occasion, Dr Iftikhar Ahmad, Chairman PARC briefed the BoG members about the PARC performance and informed them that structural changes were being carried out in the council all across the country to enhance its performance and produce result-oriented research work.

The members on the occasion, invited the attention of the PARC Chairman towards several issues to boost of agriculture produce and also gave suggestions for ensuring smooth supply of electricity to the farms.