LAHORE Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has said Pakistan will have to adopt a bold stance against India on the water issue and there is a need for national unity and strengthening of the country for this purpose.
There has been no dearth of resources, and had corruption and plundering of the national resources been checked and austerity promoted, Pakistan would have been a prosperous country, he said while addressing a function held here on Monday for the balloting of Green Tractor Scheme 2009-10. Provincial Ministers, MNAs, administrative secretaries and a large number of farmers were also present on the occasion.
CM asked the farmers to groom their children for becoming agri-engineers as the Punjab government would bear all expenses on the education of the talented children. He said farmers should send their children to Agriculture University Faisalabad and other agriculture institutes as the Punjab government would evolve a policy for their education from the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund.
He also promised that agri-graduates acquiring state land would also be given 500 Green Tractors on subsidized rates through balloting. He said the government had initiated revolutionary measures for the uplift of the agriculture sector, prosperity of farmers and increase in per acre agri production. 10 thousand tractors were given under Green Tractors Scheme last year whereas 10 thousand more tractors are being provided to small cultivators through transparent balloting during the current year. Assembly members, landlords and officers are not eligible for the Scheme and subsidised tractors are only being provided to small cultivators in a transparent manner. In order to save the farmers from the unholy alliance of the corrupt mafia of the Food Department and middlemen for ensuring due returns to the cultivators for their labour, he as well as members of his team visited every nook and corner, he said, adding that though there were wheat stocks of the last year in godowns, the departments concerned had been directed to look out for new places and godowns for conservation of current years wheat produce.
He directed the Provincial Minster for Agriculture and Secretary Agriculture to arrange a convention of small cultivators so that a strategy could be evolved with their consultation in this regard.
Punjab Minister Agriculture Ahmed Ali Aulakh said that CMs vision would bring about a revolution in the agriculture sector and his invaluable services to the farmers would always be remembered.
Secretary Agriculture Capt (r) Arif Nadeem, while giving details of the Green Tractors Scheme, informed that the government was promoting mechanised farming and modern technology was being introduced in the agriculture sector. He said 289,371 applications had been received under the Green Tractors Scheme while 266,541 applications had been included for balloting after scrutiny.
Later, the CM performed balloting for Green Tractors Scheme through computer and gave keys of tractors to the winners.