LAHORE- Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has directed authorities concerned to ensure supply of water to farmers at the tail end of the canals at any cost and stern action be taken against the elements involved in water-theft. He said that no one would be allowed to exploit poor cultivators. He issued instructions for setting up a high level committee headed by Provincial Minister for Irrigation to formulate recommendations for taking effective action against those involved in water-theft. The committee will submit its recommendations within seven days. He was addressing a high level meeting regarding supply of water at the tail end of canals and checking of water-theft at Chief Ministers Secretariat, here on Wednesday. Senior Minister Raja Riaz Ahmad, Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah Khan, Members Provincial Assembly Col (R) Ayub Gaadhi, Maj.(R) Abdul Rehman Rana, Muhammad Rafique, Asif Manzoor Mohal, Additional Chief Secretary, Secretary Irrigation, Secretary Law as well as senior officers concerned were present. The Chief Minister said that due to effective strategy adopted by the government during his last tenure, the incidents of water-theft had minimised. But, he said, such incidents have again increased and during his visits to different districts of the province, the cultivators had expressed their concern in this regard. He said that water-theft will not be tolerated and the interests of farmers at the tail end of the canals will be safeguarded. He directed that the law against water-theft should be made more stringent and the loopholes be removed so that deterrent punishment could be awarded to the offenders. He said that welfare of farmers and solution of their problems is the responsibility of the government and he will make all out efforts to discharge his obligation. He directed to constitute a special committee headed by Raja Riaz Ahmad and comprising Provincial Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah Khan, Members Provincial Assembly and senior officers to submit recommendations for curbing the incidents of water-theft and awarding of deterrent punishment to the elements involved in such incidents. The committee will submit its report within seven days. Minister for Irrigation informed the meeting that there is a need for taking stringent measures for checking the incidents of water-theft so that water could be available to the farmers at the tail end of canals. Assembly Members participating in the meeting also put forward their proposals. Earlier, Secretary Irrigation gave a detailed briefing regarding the performance of the department.