LAHORE Punjab Finance Minister Tanvir Ashraf Kaira Tuesday said the province was ready to take over departments, which would come under its control after the removal of the Concurrent List under the 18th Amendment. You will see this year as the year of transition of powers from the federation to the provinces. The provinces have been given more financial autonomy under the 18th Amendment and we are ready for it, the Minister told reporters during a post-budget news conference at the Chief Ministers Secretariat. PML-N leader Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Secretary Finance Tariq Pasha, chairman Planning and Development, provincial secretaries and other officials were also present on the occasion. Kaira said at least 26 departments would be handed over to the provinces from the federation. He said the govt would provide Rs2billion subsidy on solar water pumps and drip irrigation to help the growers overcome water shortage by replacing the subsidy on tractors. The amount of subsidy can be increased, if required, he added. He said the subsidy on tractors had been replaced with solar pumps due to an urgent need of water for bringing more areas under cultivation. He said the govt had taken the decision as the objective of the subsidy on tractors had been achieved for the time being. The provincial minister also said that agriculture income tax was applicable to land hoardings above 12.5 acres but an increase in the number of small farmers due to division of land had left a vast majority of farmers out of the tax-net. Tanvir Ashraf also informed media persons about the establishment of liver transplant centres in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan. He said the govt had decided to hold a third party validation of all development projects costing over Rs 100 million in the next fiscal year to control pilferage of resources and ensure quality of work. The minister said the budget for 2010-11 was balanced and poor-friendly while the revenue targets were achievable. Responding to a question about water and power projects like the Kalabagh Dam, Kaira said some projects had been initiated at federal level to generate 23,000-megawatt power including the Bhasha dam, which would start power generation in eight years, adding that Kala Bagh Dam was a controversial issue and it would be constructed only after obtaining consensus among the provinces. Regarding, the capacity of the province to collect sales tax on services, he said 90 per cent of collection came from the telecom sector, which worked under a computerised mechanism, therefore, there would be no difficulty in tax collection. Kaira said the model village projects were already removed to avoid political influence but ongoing schemes in the villages had not been abandoned. To another query, he said the ongoing schemes had been given priority over new projects, as the govt wanted to complete these protect in larger public interest.