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New corruption scandal hits Punjab agriculture department

Lahore: The Punjab government took a decision to provide laser land leveling technology to farmers in every union council of province back in August 2012.

Punjab government aim was to curtail wastage of irrigation water in 36 districts of Punjab province to the farming community.

In rural areas considerable quantity of water is lost during irrigation due to uneven fields and poor farm designing owing to unleveled fields.

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It is estimated that about 20-25 per cent water is lost during field application in the form of evaporation and leaching thus affecting the irrigation efficiency.

Punjab government decided to provide 6000 laser land leveling units at subsidies rate, through this government put 2.7 billion rupees in this scheme.

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According to Kisan Consumer Welfare Organization (KCWO) firms are providing sub-standard equipment to farmers.

According to details, Punjab government notifies 13 firms for pre-qualification.

The firms were responsible to provide tools for laser land leveler like transmitters, receivers, control box and hydraulic kits.

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According to notification, firms mention country made name with tools, but unfortunately all are china made.

Many firms quoted the countries like Japan, USA, Germany, Italy and of Australia.

KCWO alleges the firms not only providing sub-standard China made tools but also increases the price of laser land leveler.

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A laser land leveler actual market price is between Rs. 375,000 to 400,000 but Punjab government is providing a subsidy of Rs. 450,000 to a farmer. In past this subsidy was Rs. 225,000 to each farmer, interestingly government is giving more money as subsidy compare to the actual price of laser land leveler.

KCWO also alleges that firms increase the unit prices to justify government rate.

According to the same notification, those 13 firms quoted 23 different rates for laser sets, from which 16 rates were of local tools but rate were as of imported tools.

KCWO appealed the government and concerned departments to take necessary action in this regards and saves the hard-earned money of poor peasants.

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