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September 29, 2016

Solid strategy for agri sector uplift evolved: CM


September 29, 2016

Says Punjab Educational Endowment Fund the biggest educational fund


Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that government is implementing a comprehensive programme for the development of agriculture sector and welfare of farmers and a historic package of Rs100 billion has been given for this purpose first time in the history of the country. He said a programme had also been evolved for providing interest-free loans to small cultivators through smart phones while the prices of Urea and DAP fertilisers had been reduced and a decrease of Rs3.5 per unit had been made on power tariff. He issued instructions for initiating work on setting up supply chain and model farms linked with valued addition and said that this programme could help in substantial progress in agriculture sector.

He was speaking at a briefing by a prominent agriculture expert Hans Peter on the proposed programme of supply chain and model farms linked with valued addition, here Wednesday. 

The chief minister said that agriculture was the backbone of national economy and use of modern technology could help in increase in per acre yield and tremendous development of this sector. He said the Punjab government had adopted a solid strategy for the uplift of agriculture sector and revolutionary measures had been taken for this purpose which would not only result in uplift of agriculture sector and prosperity of farmers but also in the strengthening of national economy. He said that billions of rupees had been allocated for the provision of interest-free loans and decrease in prices of fertilisers.

The chief minister appreciated the project of model farms and said that it would result in increase in the income of cultivators and progress of agriculture sector. He gave instructions for starting pilot project for supply chain and model farms linked with value addition and directed to give final shape to proposals in this regard.

Provincial Minister for Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javed, Adviser Dr Ijaz Nabi, Member Agriculture Commission Dr Akmal Hussain, DG Trade Development Authority Pakistan, Secretary Finance, Secretary Agriculture and authorities concerned were present on the occasion.

PEEF: Shahbaz Sharif has said that Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) is the biggest educational fund in the history of the region and it is helping more than 1.5 lakh resource-less but talented boy and girl students acquire modern education. 

He said that the target of provision of two lakh scholarships would be achieved soon. He said that the volume of the fund set up in 2008 with a sum of Rs 1 billion would reach Rs 20 billion this year. He said that talented and hard working students showing good performance in educational field were pride of the nation. He said that Punjab government through setting up the unique educational endowment fund in the history of the country was helping poor but brilliant students get modern education and a number of talented children of labourers and low-income families were studying at prestigious educational institutions like Oxford, Cambridge and LUMS with the help of this fund. He said that PEEF had become a symbol of national solidarity the students of Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and other provinces were also being given scholarships.

The chief minister expressed these views during a meeting with PEEF scholars here on Wednesday.He said that transparency in the affairs of PEEF was proved by the fact that talented students did not have to contact the fund for scholarships but the fund contacted low-income talented students showing outstanding performance in educational field and letters were sent to their home addresses. 

The chief minister appreciated the performance of vice-chairman, Board of Directors and the entire team of PEEF. The PEEF scholars paid rich tributes to the chief minister for launching PEEF. They said that they had got scholarships on merit and their families were grateful to the chief minister. 

Provincial Minister for Higher Education Begum Zakiya Shahnawaz, MPA Bushra Anjum Butt, PEEF Vice-Chairman Dr Amjad Saqib and PEEF Board of Directors were also present.

Meanwhile, the chief minister chaired the 21st meeting of PEEF Board of Directors which discussed various matters. Various matters relating to PEEF were given approval.  The chief minister said that scholarships worth more than Rs 7 billion had been awarded so far to the talented students from the income of the fund. The PEEF vice-chairman PEEF briefed the meeting on the educational fund. 




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