Punjab to spend Rs 36 billion on irrigation system: minister
October 15, 2012: The Punjab government will spend Rs36 billion on revamping the irrigation system by cementing watercourses, introducing drip and sprinkler system and provision of land levelling facilities, Provincial Minister for Agriculture Malik Ahmed Ali said on Sunday. “Work has started on these projects,” he said.
He was addressing farmers after inaugurating biological control laboratory at the Agriculture Department (Extension) in Sheikhupura.
The function was attended, among others, by MPA Rana Tanvir Nasir, Haji Ghulam Nabi, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Syed Mushtaq Shah, former provincial lawmaker Haji Nawaz, District Officer, Agriculture, Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor and the Superintending Engineer, Irrigation.
The Minister said that farmers were facing an acute shortage of water and stressed that more dams should be built on emergency basis.
He said that the government had launched a major project for cementing 125,000 watercourses, while subsidy was also being given for tunnels and promotion of land levelling technology.
He said drip irrigation scheme was also being introduced. Malik Ahmed Ali said that provincial government had provided Rs1 billion to Punjab Agricultural Research Board whereas funds allocated for the improvement of such structures had been doubled.
He said that over the past four years, the Punjab government had not increased the rate of Abiyana, but the federal government had imposed 16 percent tax in addition to increasing the prices of diesel, electricity, gas and fertilisers.
According to him, the Chief Minister had provided Rs2 billion for improving the supply chain of products such as vegetables and fruits to international market.
He said the distribution of 30,000 tractors under the Green Tractor Scheme would revolutionise the province’s farming sector.