Ahsan A.H. Shaikh
Pakistan has rich resources of fertile land, abundant water, and most favourable climate. Punjab is the biggest province of the country where most of these resources are adequately available and the farmers working in lush green fields are very hard working who keep toiling day and night to produce maximum crops. But if results of latest research for increasing per acre yield of various crops do not reach them then the institutions assigned with this important task and heavily-paid experts working therein are responsible. There are number of agriculture research and development institutions in the province but why they are not performing their duties efficiently, properly and honestly is a big question mark, indeed. Deplorable poor show in terms of producing desired good results cannot be ignored at all.
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who has the reputation of being a hard task master though he is also not miser in appreciating and rewarding good work, only the other day took the agricultural experts of the agricultural research and research development to the task in a very strict manner.
According to the reports in the newspapers, speaking at a seminar on use of technology for increasing cotton production, as usual he did not mince words and plainly and sternly asked the agricultural experts either to start delivering or be ready to go home. This is not all. He gave them three months deadline to produce the desired results and warned in case they fail to do so then they would be sent back to their homes and replaced with talented youth who are full of zeal and spirit to work.
Nobody can differ with the stern warning which the Chief Minister has given to the agricultural experts, in a way also sending a strong message to lethargic and inefficient officials in other sectors, as the agricultural experts and scientists are drawing huge salaries and other benefits and facilities out of the public exchequer. If they do not deliver then they ought to be pulled up.
While appreciating all this, it would have still been more better if the Chief Minister had also taken the Agriculture Minister and Secretary to task on the occasion as they are supposed to give guidelines and directions to agricultural experts and scientists and then also ensure they do the work properly and efficiently. If the Agriculture Minister and Secretary have failed to get things done rightly then they should also have been pulled up and warned by the Chief Minister.