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PM announces subsidy on electricity to agricultural tubewells in Balochistan

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Friday decided to give subsidy on the electricity supplied to 15660 registered agricultural tubewells in Balochistan. This decision was made by the Prime Minister when a delegation of Zamindar Action Committee along with Chief Minister Balochistan, Nawab Aslam Raeesani met him at the Prime Minister House. The Prime Minister said the electricity charges pertaining to agricultural tubewells would be shared by the owners, provincial and the federal government.

It was decided that the owners of the agricultural tubewells will pay a fix cost of Rs 6,000 per month while 60 percent of the balance bill will be picked up by the provincial government and 40 percent by the federal government.

The Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Finance to issue a notification to the effect after completion of all necessary formalities.

The Prime Minister said that Balochistan is one of the top most priorities of his government and if the federal government had the fiscal space, it would not have hesitated to provide more relief to the farmers of Balochistan.

He said that he was aware that due to lowering of water table, the tubewells in Balochistan had to be bored as deep as 1000 feet to pump water.

Therefore, it becomes difficult for farmers to bear the cost of their installation, and the government therefore would provide subsidy to the farmers by way of picking up a substantial portion of their electricity bills so that they can operate their tubewells, he assured.

The Prime Minister said the long term solution to the problems of electricity bills for farmers in Balochistan lied in use of tubewells run on solar energy. In this connection the Prime Minister said the federal government had provisions in its budget for installation of solar tubewells.

He urged the farmers of Balochistan to come forward and replace the existing tubewells with solar energy tubewells so that the issue can be resolved permanently.

The Prime Minister directed the Provincial Government to nominate its representative and asked the Zamindar Action Committee to nominate two persons who should meet the authorities in Planning Commission and finalize a criteria for installation of tubewells as well as the share of Federal and Provincial Governments in their installation cost.

The Prime Minister said the real test would be “how quick and how many solar tubewells” were installed.

He urged the Zamindar Action Committee to identify illegal electricity connections of tubewells in Balochistan so that electricity charges can be recovered from them.

The Prime Minister said the government was already providing a subsidy of Rs 3.50 per unit and cannot afford that electricity dues remain unpaid.

He urged the Zamindar Action Committee to help the Government in the recovery of electricity dues from farmers in Balochistan.

The Prime Minister expressed the hope that farmers in Balochistan would work hard for the prosperity of Balochistan and progress of Pakistan.

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