LAHORE – The Punjab government has proposed allocation of Rs93 billion for agriculture sector as against the last year’s outlay of Rs81.3 billion. The government has planned to spend Rs19.50 billion on irrigation sector for fiscal year 2018-19.
According to budget document, the provincial government will focus on research and development of both the sectors to mitigate climate change risks to Punjab’s agrarian land.
From total allocation proposed for agriculture, the government will spend Rs seven billion in annual development programme. Similarly, it will spend Rs15 billion on distribution of interest free loans among small farmers. Establishment of Centre for Excellence of Olive Research in Barani Agriculture Research Institute, promotion of cultivation of high value cash crops and garden will also remain its priority in remaining period of fiscal year 2018-19.
Rs six billion will be spent on construction of Dadhocha Dam to provide clean water to Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The government said it will start rehabilitation work on Panjnad Barrage and construction work on Jalalpur Irrigation Canal System in the year 2018-019. Provincial Water Policy and Punjab Ground Water Act will also be completed in the year.
An amount of Rs20.5 billion has been separately proposed for the development of water resources which included water supply and sanitation.
Pinpointing climate change implications, frequent pest attacks, depressed commodity prices resulted in lower yields, the government has planned to cope with challenges and proposed a major chunk for the development of these areas.