LAHORE – An allocation of Rs300 million has been recommended for installation of solar water pumps on fields and research on solar power system during the fiscal year 2012-13.These recommendations were finalised by a committee constituted by Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday. Minister for Agriculture Malik Ahmed Ali chaired the meeting to prepare an annual development project regarding provision of solar water pumps to the small farmers on subsidy.MPAs Rana Muhammad Afzal and Ch Asadualah, Secretary Agriculture Muhammad Mushtaq Ahmad, Secretary Energy Muhamamd Jehanzaib Khan, Additional Secretary Agriculture Sumera Samad and representatives of Farmers Organizations attended the meeting. Secretary Energy briefed the meeting about Chief Minister’s meeting held earlier regarding the formulation of a comprehensive policy for launching new power generation projects in the province. He further apprised that Punjab Government was helping farmers to meet their irrigational needs through pumps operated by solar energy. Secretary Agriculture said that these solar water pumps would be integrated with already launched mega project of drip and sprinkler irrigation for the economical use of water and to facilitate farmers for the availability of water at cheap rates. The committee recommended allocation of Rs200 million for installation of solar water pumps on fields and Rs100 million for University of Agriculture Faisalabad for research on solar power systems. A five member technical committee headed by Ch Muhammad Ashraf, Director General Agriculture (Water Management), was also constituted to finalize technical parameters, specifications, eligibility of farmers for provision of pumps, amount and level of subsidy and other such matters. The committee was assigned to formulate recommendations for approval from CM Punjab.Malik Ahmed Ali said that Punjab Government has promulgated its revised power generation policy with focus on enhancing power generation capacity at minimum cost, ensuring sustainable indigenized use of fuel and development of hydel, solar and wind energy resources. He said that accelerated development of energy resources for poor farmers ranks high in priorities of the Punjab Government.