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- Friday, June 29, 2012 - From Print Edition


LAHORE: CHIEF Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Punjab government has chalked out a plan to provide solar panels to the poor and biogas units to the small farmers for their tube wells, adding that provision of solar panels project will start from South Punjab.


He said solar panels would operate one fan and two electric bulbs. He further said that planning had been made to install coal energy plants through public-private partnership in industrial estates throughout the province.


He was presiding over a meeting to review pace of development of energy projects in his camp office at Minar-e-Pakistan on Thursday.


Shahbaz further said provision of solar panels to the poor families would be made through balloting and similar method would also be adopted for biogas units distribution among small farmers. He directed the officials that methodology of distribution of solar panels and biogas units should be evolved so that the programme could be implemented at the earliest and negotiations should be held the best companies for purchasing solar panels. He said the quota of South Punjab for biogas units would be 10 percent higher and, initially, 1,000 biogas units would be distributed.


Shahbaz Sharif said a programme had also been evolved to set up energy generating projects through coal in industrial estates throughout the province while projects of 50MW would be installed in industrial estates with public-private partnership.


Senator Zulfiqar Khosa, Provincial Agriculture Minister Ahmad Ali Aulakh, Members National and Provincial Assembly, chairman Planning & Development, secretaries of various departments, energy experts and investors attended the meeting.


agriculture: Shahbaz Sharif has said that agriculture is the backbone of national economy and the goal of self-reliance can be achieved by increasing agricultural productivity with the latest agricultural technology.


He said the Punjab government had adopted a strategy for creating awareness among the farmers about the use of modern technology for betterment of agriculture. He pointed out that Star Farm Pakistan had been introduced in the province for increasing agricultural productivity and enhancing commercial capability. Shahbaz was presiding over a meeting to review the implementation of Star Farming Project in his Camp Office at Minar-e-Pakistan on Thursday.


He said a special fund of Rs2 billion had been set up for modernisation of the agriculture sector. He said collaboration between the Punjab government and Star Farm Company, China, for promotion of agricultural products and capacity-building of farmers was an auspicious step. He directed the authorities to expedite the pace of implementation on Star Farming Project.


The chief minister noted that agriculture and livestock were highly important sectors and their promotion could help the country eradicate poverty and unemployment. He said national economy could be further strengthened by promoting agri-based industries. He hoped that, with the improvement of supply chain management and cooperation of Star Farm Network, the exports of agriculture and livestock products would increase. The CM said the farming community was benefiting from the experiences of China. He suggested that along with providing necessary training to the farmers, the Star Farm Company should also perform the role of facilitator for export of agricultural goods. He said road shows should also be conducted at Multan, Vehari, Bahawalpur, Sahiwal and other areas besides making preparation for the international exhibition of agricultural products to be held in Berlin, Germany during the next year.


The agriculture secretary and Hans Peter of the Star Farm Company gave a detailed briefing on the implementation on the project.


Provincial Minister for Agriculture Ahmad Ali Aulakh, Members Assembly, Chairman Planning & Development, Secretaries of Finance besides representatives of the farming community attended the meeting.


buses: Shahbaz Sharif has said the Punjab government is spending billions of rupees on provision of the best quality transport facilities to the people. He was talking to a delegation of the China Gold Dragon Bus Company here on Thursday.


The chief minister said that air-conditioned bus service had been launched in Faisalabad and Rawalpindi along with the provincial metropolis which was being expanded to other big cities. He said the buses had been acquired from Chinese companies, Anchey and Futon, whereas planning had been made to purchase further 1,000 buses. He said there was a tremendous scope of investment in the transport sector in Punjab, and urged Golden Dragon Bus Company to invest in the tendering process of provision of buses.


Shahbaz said Pakistan wanted to benefit from Chinese technology and he wished Chinese companies to invest in Punjab and set up bus manufacturing plants.


General Manager of Golden Dragon Bus Company International Business, Mr. Bao Hongquan also spoke on the occasion and announced to give two buses as a gift to the Punjab government.


Managing Director Plum Qingqi Motors Wang Zihai, Area Managers for South Asia and Central Asia were in the delegation.