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Biogas tube-wells for small farmers approved

THE Punjab Energy Council has approved the launch of a biogas tube-wells programme for small farmers in the province.

It has also been decided to give a subsidy of Rs 100,000 to the farmers having up to five acres of land for biogas tube-well under the programme. A subsidy of Rs.75,000 will be given to farmers having up to twelve and a half acres of land whereas Rs.50,000 to the farmers having up to 25 acres of land.

The decision was taken in a meeting presided over by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif which was attended by provincial ministers Sher Ali Khan, Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, Dr. Farrukh Javed, Muhammad Shafiq, Special Assistant Arshad Jutt, Advisor Dr. Ejaz Nabi, MPA Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, the chief secretary, the Planning & Development chairman, the Coordinator for Energy Shahid Riaz Gondal, the secretaries and senior officers concerned.

Addressing the meeting, Shahbaz Sharif said that the distribution of biogas tube-wells among the farmers would be made through a transparent draw. The Commissioners will be the in-charge of allotment committee and draw will be held in the presence of elected representatives and media. The CM said that, like other programmes of the Punjab government, the distribution of biogas tube wells would be unique with regard to transparency. He said that the responsibility of third party technical supervision would be assigned to a renowned foreign company for ensuring transparency of the programme.

Shahbaz Sharif said that a complaints committee would be set up which would address the complaints at the spot. He said that ten thousand biogas tube wells would be installed during the first year.

The chief minister issued directions to form a special programme for training of manpower for the implementation of biogas tube well programme. He said that training of manpower should be arranged under Punjab Skill Development programme. Shahbaz Sharif said that new job opportunities would be created through the programme of technical training for installation of biogas tube wells. He said that the system of India and Nepal with regard to cooperative model and biogas tubewell should be reviewed.

Issuing instructions to appoint a consultant for immediate implementation of the programme of distribution of biogas tubewells, the CM said that a committee comprising officers of Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperative Departments be constituted for running this programme effectively.

Shahbaz Sharif directed the Agriculture secretary to decide all matters and features of biogas tubewells programme, comprehensive project of biomass collection and plan of small projects of five megawatt each and present a report in the next meeting. He said that talks were going on with the Pakistan Railways for transportation of coal. He said negotiations with sugar mills owners for generating energy through bagasse should be expedited. The Agriculture secretary gave a detailed briefing with regard to biogas tube well programme.

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