LAHORE: A high level meeting regarding Wheat Procurement Campaign 2016-17 was held on Tuesday under the chair of Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif.

According to press release, the meeting reviewed in detail the arrangements made for providing maximum facilities to the farmers at wheat procurement centers.Addressing the meeting, Shehbaz Sharif said that 376 wheat procurement centers will be set up across the province and maximum facilities will be provided to the farmers at these centers.

He said that like previous years, interest of cultivators would be protected this year as well. He said that due returns will be ensured to the farmers and no one will be allowed to exploit them.

He said that there is a bumper wheat crop this year and protection of interests of farmers will be ensured at every cost. He directed that arrangements should be made to facilitate the cultivators at procurement centers.

He said that like previous years, process of distribution of gunny bags among the famers will be fully transparent this year as well. Shehbaz Sharif said that all necessary measures will be taken for stability of wheat prices and to ensure that cultivators are not affected by low wheat prices and recession in international market.
He said that the process of distribution of gunny bags will be transparent and equitable and gunny bags will be issued on first come first served basis.

The Chief Minister said that middleman will not be allowed to exploit cultivators in the procurement of wheat and middleman or Arhti will not be able to participate in the process of wheat procurement. He said that complaint cells will be set up at provincial, divisional, district and tehsil levels. He said that any complaint in the procurement of wheat will immediately be addressed. Shehbaz Sharif said that an effective monitoring
system has also been introduced with the help of information technology for
ensuring transparency in wheat procurement process. He said that wheat will
be procured from small cultivators on priority basis and he will personally
supervise wheat procurement campaign.

The Chief Minister said that agriculture is the backbone of national economy and a comprehensive strategy will be implemented for development of this sector.
He said that Punjab government has given a historic package of 100 billion rupees for the next two years for the prosperity of farmers and uplift of agriculture sector and its implementation will leave a positive impact on agriculture.

Provincial Minister for Food and Secretary Food gave a briefing on the arrangements for wheat procurement campaign. Federal Minister National Food Security Sikandar Hayat Bosan, Provincial Ministers Rana Sanaullah, Bilal Yasin, Atta Manika, Nadeem Kamran, Farrukh Javed, Iqbal Channar, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Chaudhry Muhammad Shafique, Members National and Provincial Assembly, Chief Secretary, Inspector General Police, MD PASSCO, concerned secretaries and senior officials attended the meeting.