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Nawaz Chairs Another Government Meeting Amid Criticism

Nawaz Chairs Another Government Meeting Amid Criticism

LAHORE: PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif continues to hold administrative meetings alongside his daughter, Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz, despite facing criticism. On Monday, Mr. Sharif co-chaired a meeting to assess the challenges encountered by the province’s agriculture sector.

Since the February 8 general elections, the PML-N supreme leader has maintained a relatively low profile. However, in his occasional public appearances, he has been observed chairing or co-chairing administrative meetings of the Punjab government with his daughter. This has raised questions, as Mr. Sharif holds no official position in either the provincial or federal government and is officially only a member of the National Assembly.

Also Read: CM Maryam Greenlights ‘Nawaz Sharif Kisan Card’

Addressing the meeting on Monday, the PML-N supreme leader highlighted the significant concern over the lack of availability of quality seeds even after decades. He called for “effective steps” to conserve 37 million acres feet (MAF) of water during agricultural activities in the province.

Mr. Sharif stressed the importance of adopting modern irrigation methods to conserve water. It was noted during the meeting that paving 7,300 watercourses across Punjab could potentially save 1.7 MAF of water.

Additionally, the meeting focused on necessary measures to increase the rate of farm mechanization from 35 to 60 per cent in Punjab. Discussions also revolved around the disbursement of Rs150bn loan to farmers for Rabi and Kharif crops. Mr. Sharif directed the formulation of simple eligibility criteria for farmers to secure loans.

CM Maryam approved a research endowment fund worth Rs500m in the Ayub Agricultural Research Institute in Faisalabad during the meeting. Furthermore, the meeting decided to amend the Fertilizer and Pesticide Act. Provincial ministers Marriyum Aurangzeb, Azma Zahid Bukhari, and Ashiq Hussain Kirmani, along with PML-N leader Pervaiz Rashid and other officials, attended the meeting.

In a separate event on Monday, CM Maryam chaired a joint meeting of the parliamentary parties of PML-N, PPP, and PML-Q to discuss the strategy for Senate elections. PPP parliamentary party leader Ali Haider Gilani assured the CM of his party’s support for PML-N candidates Bushra Butt and Anusha Rahman, contesting on women’s seats.