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Punjab recommends Rs300m for solar water pumps

An allocation of Rs300 million has been recommended to be made during financial year 2012-13 for installation of solar water pumps on farmer fields and research on solar power system.

The recommendations were finalised by a high-level committee constituted by Chief Minister Punjab, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif here in Lahore on Tuesday. Minister for Agriculture, Punjab Malik Ahmed Ali chaired the meeting to prepare an annual development project regarding provision of solar water pumps to the small farmers on subsidy.

Secretary Energy, Punjab explained the meeting about discussions of the Chief Minister’s meeting held earlier regarding the formulation of a comprehensive policy for the launch of new power generation projects in the province.

He further apprised that Punjab government is encouraging to help farmers meet their irrigational needs through provision of pumps operated by solar energy. Secretary Agriculture, Punjab said that these solar water pumps will be integrated with already launched mega project of drip and sprinkler irrigation for the economical use of water as well as to facilitate farmers for the availability of irrigations water at cheaper rates. The committee recommended that Rs. 200 million may be allocated for next year ADP 2012-13 for installation of solar water pumps on farmer fields, whereas Rs100 million may also be kept for provision to University of Agriculture, Faisalabad to conduct research on solar power systems.

A five member technical committee chaired Ch. Muhammad Ashraf, Director General Agriculture (Water Management) was also constituted by Minister for Agriculture, Punjab to finalise the technical parameters, specifications, eligibility of farmers for provision of pumps, amount and level of subsidy etc. The committee was assigned to formulate recommendations for approval form Chief Minister Punjab.

Malik Ahmed Ali said that Punjab Government has promulgated its revised power generation policy with focus on enhancing power generation capacity at the least cost, ensuring sustainable indigenized use of fuel and development of hydral, solar and wind energy resources.

He said that accelerated development of energy resources for poor farmers ranks high in priorities of the Punjab Government.

He further said that Punjab Government at the farm-level has launched several programs aimed at enhancing irrigation efficiency including improvement of Watercourses, Provision of Laser Land Leveling systems, Use of High Efficiency Irrigation techniques and promotion of Tunnel Technology for Vegetable Production.

He said that this scheme for provision of sola water pumps is being devised to the farmers who own up to 12.5 acres of agricultural land on the pattern of Green Tractor Scheme. He told that water pumps will be installed on the farmer field through transparent balloting for economical use of water for irrigation purposed so that the farmers may get relief from the high input cost incurred on account of use of diesel and petrol.

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