CM presides over meeting to review agricultural marketing: Private sector will be allowed to set up grain markets: Elahi
LAHORE: The private sector will be allowed to set up markets for agricultural produce and a new law will be formulated for this purpose, said Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. “A plan is being implemented to ensure farmers a higher return. The plan provides storage, marketing of produce and infrastructure for the primary industry, he added.
Elahi was presiding over a meeting of senior officials on Tuesday to review the performance of the Agriculture Marketing Department. The Provincial minister for Agriculture, Arshad Khan Lodhi, the Food minister, Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal, the Agriculture Marketing minister, Rana Qasim Noon, the additional chief secretary, Khushnood Akhtar Lashari, the Planning & Development chairman, Salman Ghani, the finance secretary, Salman Siddique, the Irrigation secretary, Arif Nadim, the Agricultural Marketing special secretary, Muhammad Yousaf and other departmental heads were present. The chief minister said that permission to set up markets for agricultural produce would eliminate monopolies and promote healthy competition in the marketing system. He said that the non-productive expenditure of market committees would be reduced to safeguard the interest of farmers and consumers.
Elahi said that the role of market committees would be completely changed and a new information system regarding the rates of agricultural produce in different markets was being devised. He said that the government would make certain that the market committees play a positive role to ensure farmers a higher return for their produce. He said that under the new system, additional resources would be made available for infrastructure development in agricultural areas. He directed the market committees to expand their resources and utilise them to provide farmers with better facilities. He said that agricultural markets would be set up in Lahore and Multan.
Elahi said that under the new agriculture marketing system, measures would be adopted to improve the processing of exports such as fruits, flowers, vegetables and other agricultural produce. He said that export-processing sections would be established to increase agricultural production.
Lodhi said that the new agricultural marketing system would improve the farmer’s economic conditions. Noon said that the private sector’s role in establishing agricultural markets would help the agricultural sector progress. Yousaf briefed the meeting about the various aspects of the new agricultural marketing system.