Agriculture is the mainstay of our economy. Over the years the Punjab economy has been considerably diversified but the agriculture sector is still the largest sector of the economy and the driving force for growth and development. It provides employment to 45% of the people in the province and over 65% in rural areas. It also provides food, shelter and livelihood to the people and raw material to the industry. The farming community also contributes to growth by providing market for industrial products. This sector is therefore being given top priority by the Punjab Government.
The Chief Minister’s vision for the agriculture sector is to transform it into a science based sector that can not only meet food security challenges but also compete in the domestic and international market.
To achieve this vision institutional reform, market reform, water management and technology change are the four major driving forces. The following strategic interventions are being adopted through the Annual Development Program by the Agriculture Department to achieve these targets.
Cotton in Thal
Mechanized rice transplantation
Lease of land to agriculture graduates
House cum garden plots
Rehabilitation of Water logged and Saline Soils (Biosaline-II)
Through a competitive grant system, 38 projects costing Rs.802.280 million are being funded (Wheat 9, Cotton 3, Rice 5, Sugarcane 3, Fruits & Vegetable 8, others 10)
Fruit and vegetable development project
Establishment of rice research station, B/Nagar
Water Resource Management/Improvement in water productivity
Development of a high efficiency irrigation system
Development of Command Area of GTC
Improved Services delivery and data bases
Establishment of provincial reference fertilizer lab
Digitized profile of agriculture land
Maintenance Management System for Bulldozers
Development of Alternate/Renewable Farm Energy Sources
Study on solar irrigation pumps
Capacity building of the Human resources
The development budget for the agriculture sector has consistently been increased by the provincial government during the last couple of years. Provision of Rs 3.4 billion is being made for the years 2011-2012. As a result of constant support by the provincial government, the sector has achieved encouraging targets. The Provincial Agriculture Department is presently executing 19 on going development schemes and 9 new schemes will be taken up during the year 2011 -2012. In addition to above the Department is working on following intitatives
Star Farm Consulting Company (SFC) started its business in China in 2007. The key features are:
-Training and capacity building of the suppliers/processors and logistics regarding IFS -Training and capacity building of farm bases regarding GlobalGAP
Six Pakistani agronomists received six-month training from SFC in China to later work as master trainers in their program for Pakistan.
SFC officially launched its office on April 01, 2011 in Pakistan.
SFC training mainly focuses on quality assurance system,international standard traceability system & quality management system
SFC has audit system focuses on GlobalGAP, IFS &GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice).
SFC’s strategy aims at increase in productivity up to 3 times and reduction in post harvest losses up to 30%
Government of the Punjab is facilitating this system by creation of funds to incentivize farm bases, picking of KIBOR for IFS certification, development of marketing infrastructure, establishment of Centre of Excellence for training and capacity building and create a regulatory body
Kitchen Gardening Programme
Mainly focuses on provision of fresh, cheap and hygienic vegetables through distribution of Vegetable Seed Kits & Nursery Plants to the clients group in urban and peri urban areas of the province.
Under this scheme, 30,400 Seed Kits of vegetables i.e. Okra, Bitter Guard, Bottle Guard, Vegetable Marrow, Sponge Guard, Tinda Guard, Long Mellon & Cucumber were prepared & distributed to Vegetable Growers and 59,556 Nursery Plants of Tomato, Brinjal, Chilies, Mint, Coriander & Salad were also distributed in the urban areas.
About 1,70,000 seed packets for the forthcoming Rabi/Winter Vegetables i.e. Spinach, Carrot, Turnip (Golden & Purple), Radish, Fellnnu Greek, Coriander, SarsoonGobhi, Tomato & Salad (Lettuce) will be distributed for this purpose.
The experts of the Agriculture Department will impart training free of cost whereas seed packets will be provided on subsidized rates.
A comprehensive campaign for creatintg awareness about its benefits and production technology have been planned for the print and electronic media.
Revamping of Agriculture Marketing System is the main focus of reform of the present regime. The following strategy has been adapted in this regard:
Reform Agriculture Marketing Legislation through introducing Agriculture Marketing Bill, 2011
Establishment of Agriculture Marketing Information System (AMIS) to create awareness about what is happening across the border.
Allow private sector to establish agriculture produce markets to attract investment in this sector
Encourage establishment of cool chain and modern storage facilities.
Steps taken to introduce the concept of commodity future markets in agriculture
Punjab Seed Act, 2011 for vibrant seed industry
Punjab government has submitted Draft Seed Bill to the provincial cabinet for its consideration with the main aim to transform the existing seed industry into a vibrant seed industry by replacing:
Old and inefficient public sector certification system with new private sector driven truth-in-label system
Recognition of new developments such as GMO’s in agriculture field in the existing system
Regulating the seed multiplication & distribution system by establishing a warm body at provincial level
Mobile Health Units (MHU)
State of the art ‘Mobile Health Units’ (MHU) have been launched that are installed with X-ray and laboratory facilities and are equipped with two doctors (male & female), medicines and a small operation theatre. These MHUs visit different remote areas where local patients are treated and serious ailments are referred to hospitals. Six MHUs have been provided in Southern districts of Rajanpur, Bahawalnagar, Ahmadpur, Sharqia, Muzzafargarh, Rahim Yar Khan and Dera Ghazi Khan. These units are monitored by a satellite system.
Formation of Punjab Health-Care Commission
Punjab Health-Care Commission Bill was passed by the Punjab Assembly in 2010. The commission will have the authority to decide references against professional negligence and incompetence of doctors.
Foundation of Medical Colleges
Four new medical colleges have been established by the Punjab Government in Sahiwal, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Dera Ghazi Khan.
Hepatitis Control Program
A Hepatitis Control Program has been started with a budgetary allocation of Rs. 2.8 million.
Miscellaneous Health Sector Initiatives
Other initiatives taken up by the health sector include:
The up-gradation of BHUs and RHCs has been carried out and the District Headquarter (DHQ) & Tehsil Headquarter (THQ) hospitals have been attached with teaching hospitals for improving health care delivery.
The budgetary allocation for the Health Sector in 2010-11 was increased by up to 32% (compared to last year) to sixteen billion rupees. The total size of the health budget amounts to thirty eight billion rupees.
Provision of free medicines for patients in Government hospitals is one of the top priorities of the Chief Minister. In this regard it is stated that an amount of Rs. 500 million was allocated for the provision of free medicine for the patients in Government hospitals under block allocation under Funds / grant PC21016(016) health services during 2011 - 12 out of which Rs. 400 million has been released by the Finance Department (in two installments).
Health-Care Insurance has been introduced in Punjab and poor segments of the society will be given special attention in this regard.
Free dialysis facility has been provided in different hospitals. Apart from that tertiary care hospitals have been equipped with MRI, Angiography and CT scan machines.
The provision of air conditioning facility has been ensured in all public sector hospitals.
Improving the health care system has been a priority of the Punjab Government. Cochlear Implantation operations have been performed on fourteen special children at Children Hospital Lahore in collaboration with Special Education Department. Each operation costing Rs. 1,500,000, and 115 more children will be provided this facility in the current financial year.
Amendments in Punjab Pure Food Rules 2007 have been introduced that sets new quality standards for dairy products, minimum B.Sc. qualification for the food inspectors and stricter laws to curb production of substandard food items and its adulteration.
All the public sector hospitals across Punjab have been provided with free parking facility.
Faisalabad Institute of Cardiology and Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology have been established to cater to the long list of patients waiting for treatment and operations at PIC, Lahore who will now be accommodated in their own areas.
The rehabilitation of Said Mittha Hospital, Nawaz Sharif Hospital Yakki Gate, Mozang Hospital Lahore as well as the new emergency block in Kot Khwaja Saeed Hospital has been completed.
Punjab Institute of Urology and Transplantation and Gynae–Pediatric centre will be established in Rawalpindi.
The Higher and Primary Education has been allocated Rs.117 billion in the current Punjab budget in different categories, which is a fifth of the total budget and reflects the Chief Minister’s resolve to educate the youth of the province.
The Chief Minister inaugurated the Daanish Schools establishing six campuses in Attock, Mianwali, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rahim Yar Khan, Chishtian and Hasilpur. These are purpose built campuses aimed at providing quality education to the poorest of children in far-flung and backward areas of the province. For more information, visit the site.
Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF)
The Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) aims to provide equitable opportunities of education to under privileged but bright students especially from the southern districts of the province. This fund is nurturing much needed human capital which will, one day, contribute to the social and economic development of Pakistan. For more information, visit the site.
Punjab Education Foundation (PEF)
The establishment of the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF). The Punjab Education Foundation has been restructured under the Punjab Education Foundation Act-XII of 2004 for the promotion of education, especially encouraging and supporting the efforts of the private sector in providing education to the poor, through public-private partnershipS. For more information, visit the site.
Punjab Education Sector Reform Program (PESRP)
The creation of the Punjab Education Sector Reforms Program (PESRP) deals with all donor funded programs. The primary purpose of these reforms is to increase access to education by allocating more financial resources at the provincial & district level, to support devolution and public sector management reforms and to improve governance, access and the quality of education system in the Punjab.
The following upgradation measures have been taken by the provincial government:
The upgradation of 3,068 primary and middle schools has been completed to augment the physical infrastructure of public sector schools in the province.
Four year degree programs have been started in twenty six colleges; thirty six new colleges have been approved and the up gradation of twenty five colleges has been undertaken across Punjab.
A total of 35,000 educators have been inducted purely on merit across the province to cater to the shortage of teachers and to improve the standard of education.
Twenty two new colleges are being established and seventeen colleges are being upgraded in the current fiscal year across the province.
Technical institutions have been approved at the divisional level which will help bring education in backward areas at par with the developed areas.
Centres of Excellence
Seventy three schools were declared Centres of Excellence across the province owing to their research work and maintenance of high standards of education.
College Teacher's Package
The following financial incentives have been given to college teachers:
Mobility Allowance of Rs. 208.689 million @ Rs. 950/- per teacher.
Hard Area Allowance of Rs. 94.450/- million @ Rs. 3000/- for 124 colleges of all divisions.
Monthly Qualification Allowance (M. Phil/Ph. D) of Rs. 80.198 million for college teachers @ Rs. 10000/- for Ph. D & Rs. 5000/- for M. Phil.
Principal Charge Allowance for all Principals of Rs. 47.461 million @ Rs. 4000/- and Rs. 7000/- for urban and rural areas respectively.
Prize of Rs. 50,000/-, Rs. 35,000/- and Rs. 25,000/- are given to the teachers of first, second and third position holders students respectively.
1167 College Teachers Interns (CTIs) have also been recruited to meet the shortage of college staff on a monthly renumeration of Rs. 10000/-.
IT Labs in 4,286 government middle schools in Punjab have been established by the provincial government laying the foundation for bringing a revolution in the field of education where hundreds of thousands of students will have access to modern information. For more information, visit the site.
The Punjab government has introduced a new system of online registration for students of intermediate and secondary education across Punjab.
The following measures have been takne by the government with regards to special education:
2,500 contract employees in special education have been regularized and approval of Four Tier Promotion Formula has been issued.
Free education for special children will be ensured in addition to school supplies and a daily cup of milk.
Parho Punjab, Barho Punjab
Parho Punjab, Barho Punjab is a School Reforms Roadmap Programme with the aim of enroling every male and female child till 2018 in Punjab. This programme is being implemented successfully in Punjab with the objectives to provide all the required educational facilities besides the provision of text books and related accessories free of cost. So far, 140,000 teachers have been appointed on merit basis while 200,000 teachers have been trained for their capacity building.
The four main objectives of this programme are:
Objective 1: Ensure high quality teaching and learning in every classroom
Objective 2: Improve leadership and accountability at all levels
Objective 3: Support with high quality school infrastructure
Objective 4: Enable a conducive learning environment for students
Social Welfare & Women Development
Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP)
The Gender Reforms Action Plan (GRAP) is a product of the global, national and local commitments of the government to redress gender issues. It focuses primarily on institutional change for achieving gender equality. It is expected to catalyze actions entailing gender mainstreaming in the provincial departments.
Establishment of "Gehwara"
The Punjab government established ‘Gehwara’, a centre for newborn babies, in Multan where children will be nourished till the age of seven.
Violence Against Women Centers
Violence Against Women Center (VAWC) is a unique project of Punjab government in the wake of passing Women Protection Bill. It has been established for the defense of women against violence. Through this entity, the victim will be able to report violence through the use of its helpline and get speedy justice. This entity will also provide victim facility to lodge FIR along with forensic help, medical examination, prosecution and post-trauma rehabilitation under one roof.
Other initiatives taken up by the government include:
The Punjab Government has established 420 vocational training institutes where people will acquire valuable skills enabling them to earn a living.
A thousand rupee stipend is being granted to underprivileged women by the Punjab Government.
The Punjab Government launched a microcredit scheme for women to heighten economic activity in rural areas. It targets businesses that have the potential for growth.
Law and Order
The following measures have been taken by the provincial government regarding law and order:
Thirty eight Acts have been passed by the Punjab Assembly regarding law and order in the province.
The salaries of police personnel have been doubled to provide better security and curb corruption.
The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) was established in 2009 to combat terrorism.
Quick Response Force has been created with the assistance of the Pakistan Army to counter terrorism.
Riverine Force has been created to combat crimes in slum dwellings (Kaccha areas) and to make travelling more secure on the Indus Highway. 49 Riverine Posts have been established for this purpose.
4,329 criminal gangs and 145,748 proclaimed offenders have been prosecuted in Punjab and 76,310 fugitives have been arrested. Moreover, 46 police officers embraced martyrdom in the war against terror.
Helpline ‘1915’ has been launched for traffic related issues.
Establishment of Punjab Power Development Board and Punjab Power Development Company
The Punjab Power Development Board (PPDB) and the Punjab Power Development Company (PPDC) have been established to address the power crisis in the province and to undertake power projects at a rapid pace.
A separate Energy Department is being established to address the energy needs of the province.
The rehabilitation of the Jinnah Barrage has been completed and the rehabilitation of Taunsa and Khanki barrages is underway.
Small hydroelectricity projects are being initiated with private sector companies and coordination with the Federal Government is ongoing for the exploration of all forms of energy sources to bridge the gap between demand and supply in the country.
Coal based power generation is also being explored to meet growing energy needs.
Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park (QASP)
Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park is the world's largest solar park, located in Cholistan, Punjab. It has around 400,000 solar panels with a capacity to produce 1,000 MW electricity, enough to power 320,000 households.
Construction of the Lahore Ring Road
The Lahore Ring Road (Northern Loop) work upto package-17 (Sui Gas Housing society) will be completed by 31-10-2011.
Establishment of Renewable Development Program
The Urban Renewable Development Program was launched for intermediate cities for the rehabilitation of roads in DG Khan, Sahiwal and Sargodha.
A Southern Package was launched for South Punjab. Under this package, forty road projects are underway worth over one billion rupees.
Major projects of urban water supply are underway in Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi.
Launch of Ashiana Housing Scheme
The Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) was established in 2009 to respond with immediate effect in the areas of affordable housing, urban renewal, municipal services, land management, land development, and the development of economic zones (Industrial Cities).
The Ashiana Housing Scheme has been launched for low income families having all necessary modern facilities in Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Gujranwala cities.
Construction of Model Villages
The Model Villages are being constructed for the rehabilitation of flood affected refugees. For more information, visit the site.
Launch of Jinnah Abadis Scheme
This scheme provides 5 marla plots free of cost to homeless, poor people of rural areas.
Under this scheme, allotment Sanads will be given to eligible applicants with joint ownership of husband and wife.
71,082 plots will be provided to the aforementioned beneficiaries. For more information, view division wise summary of allotted plots.
Lahore Bus Rapid Transit
Lahore Metro Bus is a bus rapid transit project of government of Punjab consisting of a 27-kilometers long route and 29 bus stations between Gajumata and Shahadra. The route covers dozens of commercial and residential localities along the main artery of city including Ferozepur road linking Jain Mander, Lytton road, MAO College, Civil Secretariat, Lower Mall, Shrine of Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh, Aiwan-e-Adal, Chowk Katchehry, Shahdra town and Ravi Road. The bus system uses e-ticketing and Intelligent Transportation System wand.
Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif
Personal Career & Interests
Mr. Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, son of (late) Mr. Muhammad Sharif(1919–2004), graduated from Government College, Lahore with distinction. He belongs to a family of distinguished business community, started his professional life as a businessman and became the President, Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry in 1985. Later, he joined active politics and served as Member, Punjab Assembly during 1988-90; and as Member, National Assembly during 1990-93. He was elected as Member, Punjab Assembly again in 1993 and served as Leader of the Opposition during 1993-96. He became Member of Punjab Assembly for the third term in 1997; was elected as Chief Minister and functioned as such till 1999 when, as a result of military coup, his government, along with the Federal Government, was toppled. He was imprisoned and then exiled. He has played a leading role in the restoration of democracy in the country. Having been elected unopposed as Member, Punjab Assembly for the fourth term, he is presently functioning for the second time as Chief Minister, Punjab. He is a dynamic political leader known for his strong and efficient administration. Better health facilities, educational reforms and economic uplift are his top priorities. He has made extensive travels abroad. His brother and incumbent Prime Minister Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif served as Provincial Minister in Punjab cabinet during 1983-84; as Chief Minister, Punjab twice during 1985-88 & 1988-90; and as Prime Minister of Pakistan during 1990-93, 1997-99, and 2013-Incumbent. His son, Mr Hamza Shehbaz Sharif is a sitting MNA.