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June, 2008




The Punjab Government today decided to bear full financial liability of the Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana for payment of pension. Issuing instructions to the effect the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal said that the government would also totally support renewal and expansion of research activities by the university scholars of the farm university.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting on the fiscal and academic health of the university. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Badal.

Giving details of the decision, Chief Minister's Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains said that Mr. Badal had also convened a full-length one day interactive session with farm academicians, progressive farmers and top government functionaries for an in-depth study of the state of agriculture and agricultural research in Punjab. PAU Vice Chancellor Dr. MS Kang would represent the university at the meeting, said Mr. Bains.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister declared that the government would fund the university to the tune of nearly Rs.3 crore every month to meet its liability towards its pensioners till February 2009. The government would also put in place a regular mechanism for meeting this liability in future also. Mr. Badal strongly feels that the woes of the PAU pensioners must end immediately as the issue effected the overall morale of the entire academic fraternity on the campus. The chief minister infact is keen to go a step further institutionalize incentives for those engaged in outstanding research in agriculture", said Mr. Bains.

Mr. Badal's assurance in this regard came at the end of meeting he had with varsity's Vice Chancellor Dr. Manjit Singh Kang and eminent farm economist Dr. SS Johl and top government functionaries at the Chief Minister's office here this morning.

Taking part in the deliberations, the Chief Minister asked Dr. Kang and Dr. Johl to suggest ways and means to improve the productivity and quality of wheat and paddy through undertaking extensive research in the field of high yield varieties of seeds. He also emphasized the need to motivate the Punjabi farmers to take up allied activities like dairying, fishery and floriculture besides cultivation of high value added cash crops.

The Chief Minister also asked the Vice Chancellor to activate the research prospects in the Varsity so that the farmers of the Punjab could richly benefited from their experience. He asked the university scholars to develop sufficient quantity of 'breeder and foundation seeds' for the farmers of the state. He also asked the authorities of the university to effectively promote extension education services which were the real foundation of the state's initiative for heralding the second Green Revolution. He extended fulsome support and cooperation to the PAU in the pursuit of excellence.

Interacting with the delegation of PAU, Finance Minister Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal assured the Chief Minister that Finance Department would immediately release funds for the research purposes as it was the base of state's agricultural economy. He said that young blood should be recruited in the University so that the research and development work carried out by the senior faculty members and fellows in the different wings of agriculture could be passed on to new hands especially as most of the senior teachers were already at the verge of retirement.

Mr. Badal extended full government support for improving and enhancing the flow of agriculture credit, increasing investment opportunities and storage facilities, launching a national horticulture Mission to increase the output and trade in fruit and vegetables and promoting research and training in agriculture. He said that Krishi Vigyan Kendra should be set up in every district to spread the benefit of advanced research and training in order to change the mindset of our farmers towards diversification.

Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included Media Advisor to Chief Minister Mr. Harcharan Bains, Financial Commissioner Development RS Sandhu, Vice Chancellor of PAU Dr. MS Kang, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS Guru, Secretary Agriculture SS Dhillon, farm economist Dr.SS Johl and Secretary Punjab State Rural Development Board Kulbir Singh



The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today ordered an ambitious Rs.1225 crore plan for expanding and upgrading link roads network in Punjab and modernizing its agricultural marketing infrastructure in the state.

A decision to this effect was taken here at a high level meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal here this morning.

Disclosing this here today Chief Minister's Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains said that while existing link roads measuring 7200 KM would be repaired at a cost of Rs.600 crore, the network would be expended by adding 1500 KM of new link roads. This would entail an additional expenditure of Rs.225 crore during the current financial year.

The Chief Minister ordered that new link roads measuring 20 KM be constructed in each of the 108 rural constituencies in the state as per prescribed norms of rural population. Mr. Bains said that the Punjab Agricultural Marketing Board has been asked to undertake the modernization of agriculture marketing infrastructure through out the state. The task would be completed within the next two years at a cost of Rs.400 crore to strengthen the agri-marketing base. A sum of Rs.75 crore has been earmarked to provide post harvest technology links, granting of power transmission lines, cooling and ripening chambers to ensure hassle free marketing of fruit and vegetables, apart from minimizing the losses on account of transit of these perishables. The facility would also help the vegetables and fruit growers to realize maximum profits of their produce. The Chief Minister also asked the Mandi Board to make the field engineering staff accountable for the quality for the road and timely implementation of the allotted works.

"This is the first time in the last decade that such a comprehensive revamp of rural road network is being undertaken. We intend to change the face of rural connectivity and strengthen the logistics for giving a new push to the farm economy of the state," said Mr. Badal in a statement.

The meeting was attended by Media Advisor Mr.Harcharan Bains, Financial Commissioner Development RS Sandhu, Vice Chancellor PAU Ludhiana Dr.Manjit Singh Kang, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS Guru, Secretary Mandi Board Dipinder Singh and Secretary Punjab State Rural Development Board Kulbir Singh.





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