RAWALPINDI - Federal Minister for Science, Technology and Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain said that safe drinking water, dairy products and other edibles including ghee are not available to many consumers in the country.

There are several water purification companies which are involved in providing contaminated drinking water to the people whereas a large number of industrialists are producing substandard ghee and cooking oil, thus playing havoc with public health. “I have asked Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) to take action against such elements involved in supplying substandard items to people,” he said.

He said that agriculture was backbone of Pakistan’s economy and the government was making tireless efforts to bring reforms in this sector besides empowering the farmers.

“Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif has allocated Rs 100 billion for agriculture sector to bring agri revolution and improve lifestyle of farmers,” Rana Tanveer said after unveiling the plaque of First Indigenous Hydroponic/Soil Less System of Pakistan introduced by Pir Mehar Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) at Rawat on Wednesday.

Secretaries and deputy secretary of Ministry of Science and Technology, Pakistan Science Foundation chairman Dr Muhammad Ashraf, Dr Jahangir Khan Siyyal, Vice Chancellor (VC) PMAS-AAUR, Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmed, Dr Noor ul Islam, Rector NUST Gen (r) Muhammad Asghar, Senators Begum Najma Hameed and Tahira Aurangzeb, MNA Raja Javed Ikhlas, MPA Malik Iftikhar Ahmed, other experts of agricultural sector, farmers, members of NGOs and faculty members were present on the occasion.

Addressing the participants, the minister said that people in Pakistan were facing shortage of clean drinking water while a large numbers of water purification companies were involved in selling unsafe water. Similarly, the industrialists were making low quality ghee and cooking oil owing to which consumers were suffering from different deceases.

He said that agriculture was backbone of Pakistan’s economy while the farmers should be trained to use new technology to increase their production. Introducing First Indigenous Hydroponic/Soil Less System of Pakistan by PMAS-AAUR would be a milestone in increasing the capability of agro products. He said that the universities should improve the abilities of researchers and the government would also support such exercises.

The minister said that Pakistan has been making latest weapons and other security related instruments to not only cater the needs of its own law enforcement agencies but also to import to other countries. PML-N, under the leadership of Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, was committed to bring positive change in the lives of masses, he said, adding that the government was also taking concrete steps to strengthen the economy. He said that 10,000 megawatts of electricity would be included in the system to end loadsheeding till 2018.

Rana Tanveer Hussain said that terrorism has become a phenomenon that gripped the whole world. He said that Pakistan was suffering hard because of its geological location as she shared borders with Afghanistan and India. “In Afghanistan, Indian RAW has established training centres and its agents are involved in spoiling the peaceful atmosphere of Pakistan,” he said. Pakistan Army has played a tremendous role in flushing out the terrorists from its soil, he said.

PMAS-AAUR VC Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmed said that hydroponic system was prepared with cost of Rs 1.2 million that was cheaper than European system. He said that the system could cater the agricultural needs of the country provided if the government supported hydroponic system. VC said that the residents of Potohar could also be provided water by making 13000 small ponds in the region.