LAHORE- The much-awaited 'Green Tractor' scheme for the farmers in Punjab that was launched quite 'secretly' a couple of weeks ago has become another tool in the hands of officers to 'extort' money from the poor farmers finding it very difficult to understand the complicated process needed to apply for the scheme. The officials are collecting money from the innocent growers in the name of issuance and submission of forms for this scheme, thanks to the bureaucracy for making the forms submission process more complicated and incomprehensible. The growers across the province have become rolling stone between the offices of the district administration to complete the documentation to apply for the scheme under which the government has pledged to provide tractors to the small farmers on subsidised rates. Sources in the agriculture department disclosed that despite the chief minister Punjab had directed the authorities during a high-level meeting the other day to launch a media campaign in the local print and electronic media to educate the farmers about the Green Tractor scheme, the authorities did not pay heed to his instructions so far. "No such campaign has been launched in this regard when only few days are left for the submission of forms, which are not available in most districts of the province " another official said, requesting his name not to be quoted. According to the growers, the farmers are left with no other option but to rush towards the local MPAs and MNAs to get the forms. "Taking advantage of the situation, the officials of the district administration are selling the prescribed forms at Rs 300 to Rs 500," Shamshad Ali, a grower from Okara district said. The bureaucracy has also made the attachment of Fard Malkiat (ownership deed), no Objection Certificates from the Tehsildar concerned and the Zarai Taraqiati Bank besides affidavit on Rs 20 stamp paper, as mandatory for the submission of application form. Not enough, the Patwaris are collecting money from the growers for issuance of ownership deed while the staff of the Tehsildars and bank officials are also very active in minting money from the farmers for the issuing NOCs. We are running from pillar to post to get the Green Tractor Scheme forms but to no avail, Zafar Ali another growers from Tehsil Mailsi said, when contacted.  The growers have appealed to the chief minister Punjab to make the application submission procedure easy, as most of the growers are illiterate in the province besides ensuring transparency in the system. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif re-launched the 'Green Tractor Scheme', in an effort to boost the agriculture sector in Punjab, the mainstay of the country's agricultural economy, to overcome the food shortage in the country. The small farmers having five to 15 acre piece of land are eligible to apply for this scheme to get tractors on subsidised rates, sources said, adding, this step would help improve the agriculture sector. It may be mentioned here that the chief minister had also introduced this scheme during his previous government and the initiative proved a successful as the farmers in a great number benefited through this scheme. When contacted repeatedly, Secretary Agriculture Punjab was not available for his comments.