Punjab govt to take care of pensions of agri university

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Chandigarh, Jun 18: The Punjab Government has decided to bear full financial liability of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana for payment of pensions to the staff members who have retired.

Issuing instructions to this effect Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said yesterday that the government would also totally support renewal and expansion of research activities by the university scholars of the university.

Mr Badal made these observations at a meeting called to discuss the fiscal and academic health of the university here.

The Chief Minister declared at the meeting 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's assurance in this regard came at the end of meeting.

PAU Vice Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang and eminent farm economist Dr S S Johl and top government functionaries were present at the meeting.

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 by undertaking extensive research in the field of high yield varieties of seeds. He also emphasised 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 could benefit.

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 for laying the foundation of the state's initiative for heralding the second Green Revolution.

Interacting with the delegation of PAU, State Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal assured the Chief Minister that the Finance Department would immediately release funds for research purposes.

The State Finance Minister extended full government support for improving and enhancing the flow of agriculture credit, increasing investment opportunities and storage facilities, launching a 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.

UNI

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