Punjab govt to expand trade volume through Pak border

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Chandigarh, June 15 (UNI) In a bid to develop Punjab as a national hub for vegetable export, the state government would urge the centre to expand the volume of trade through the Attari-Wagha border and turn the road checkpost into a full scale commercial zone.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had with a delegation of individual exporters of vegetables.

Mr Badal would also meet Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to seek preferential status for Punjab vegetable exports.

The state government also announced a package of incentives to boost vegetables exports from the state, especially to West Asia, Europe and South East.

The state Government would extend the facility of uninterrupted power supply and direct supply lines from the urban feeders to pre-cooling chambers and refrigeration units on the farms of the exporters. The entire expenditure for shifting of the electricity lines from rural to urban feeders would be borne by the Punjab Agri Export Corporation (PAGREXCO).

Similarly, power for the cooling chambers and refrigerated vans would be supplied as per agriculture rates instead of commercial as it is at present.

Mr Badal would soon take up the issue of the certification of animal quarantine centre to be set up at Attari-Wagha Border in Amritsar district with the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Chief Minister appreciated the initiatives taken by the exporters to promote the concept of diversification of agriculture in true spirit and asked other farmers of the state to replicate the experiment. He also promised to allot them Panchayati land on lease basis for the cultivation of fruit and vegetables on large scale.

The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary R I Singh, Financial Commissioner Development R S Sandhu, Amritsar Deputy Commissioner K S Pannu, MD Punjab Agro S K Sandhu and Additional Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Gagandeep Singh Brar.

UNI HS PDT NS1752

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