Saturday, December 3

Small growers having 12.5 acres of land to be given more money for seed

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in consultation with the World Bank on Friday decided that the small growers having up to 12.5 acres of land would be given seed and fertilizer, otherwise Rs5,000 per acre would be disbursed.

This emerged in a meeting with World Bank Regional Director Mr John Roome who had come to inspect the procedure put in place by the provincial government for conducting a survey of the small growers and households who lost their houses in the recent floods. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P and D Hassan Naqvi, PSCM Fayaz Jatoi, and Mr Abdelrazaq of the World Bank. World Bank Country Director Mr Najy Benhassine and his team attended the meeting through a video link.

The chief minister said that said that the provincial government with the support of the federal government had decided to disburse Rs5,000 per acre among the growers across the board. It may be noted that the World Bank has pledged $100 million fund to disburse among the growers. The bank has fixed a ceiling of small growers holding 12.5 acres of land to give them Rs5,000 per acre. The CM discussed the matter with the visiting team and agreed to provide more money to the small growers so that they could purchase urea also.

The CM told the WB Regional Director that the survey jointly being conducted by the Board of Revenue and the agriculture department would reveal the number of small growers holding a maximum land of 12.5 acres.

Another matter that came under discussion in the meeting was the construction of the houses damaged by heavy rains. The World Bank has pledged Rs110 billion for the construction of the houses for which the procedure has been laid down. The CM said that as per the recommendation of the bank, Peoples Housing Company had been created. The company has been provided Rs500 million to develop its system and operation.

Mr Shah said that Rs50 billion had been approved to start the housing project. He added that the operator/partner NGOs would be included in the system within a week to disburse money among the affected people. The Sindh government and the World Bank have already agreed that Rs50,000 would be given to each affected person to start construction of their house. The remaining Rs250,000 would be given to them when their construction would reach the plinth level. The World Bank regional director and his team expressed satisfaction over the procedure adopted by the provincial government.