Farmers in Punjab to get subsidised machinery, interest-free loans

The Punjab government has completed the selection process for its multibillion rupee programme to provide farmers with modern agricultural machinery at subsidised rates. 

The machinery will be provided to selected farmers. 

Punjab Agriculture Minister Syed Ashiq Hussain told Dunya News that the government was targeting three fronts - development of the agriculture sector, uplift of the farming community and elimination of smog from the province. 

He said Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz had tasked three departments - agriculture, transport and industry - to eliminate the menace of smog. 

He said the provincial government had chalked out a plan to transform the agriculture sector and develop it on modern lines. 

He said Rs400 billion were earmarked by the chief minister for the farming sector, which would help improve the financial condition of farmers and develop the agriculture sector. 

Initially, the minister said, the government had completed the task of selecting farmers who would get modern agricultural machinery at subsidised rates. “The government has nothing to do with the purchase of machinery. Instead, it will make payments directly to the suppliers,” he added.

The minister said modern machinery would play a crucial role in battling smog. He said machinery would eliminate the practice of stubble burning, a prime contributor to air pollution.

For seeders and rice shredders, he said, the government would provide 60 per cent subsidy to farmers. He said about 5,000 super seeders and 2,000 rice shredders would be given to farmers.

He said the government was also going to provide an interest-free loan of Rs300 billion to 500,000 farmers. This would be a joint venture of the Bank of Punjab and the Punjab Agriculture Department.

Besides, he said the government had also planned shifting of about 7,000 tubewells to solar energy. He said this approach would help reduce reliance on traditional energy sources.

The minister said that after the farmers' selection the orders for machinery would be placed with distributors and hopefully growers would get machines within a year.

The government would provide 25,000 modern agricultural machines to farmers in a phased manner and would complete the task over a three-year period, said the minister. 

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