PARC board approves Rs. 1028 million budget

ISLAMABAD: The Board of Directors of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) has approved developmental budgets of Rs. 371.5 million for 2009-10 and Rs. 1028 million for 2010-11. The board also approved Rs. 1388 million for non-development expenditures for 2009-10 and Rs. 1775 million for 2010-11. The Board met here with Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, Nazar Muhammad Gondal in chair also reviewed the research and development work of PARC.The minister said that agri-sector played a vital role for the development of national economy and prosperity of the common man in the country.He appreciated the role of scientists and PARC for promoting the agricultural research in the country and said that the development of agriculture mainly laid in the progress of research. He asked for  submitting a report to make the organization more active by May.Dr. Muhammad Afzal, PARC Chairman, apprised the minister of research and developmental activiies in fields of crop sciences, natural science, social sciences and animal sciences. He also shared the concerns related to the financial constraints of the PARC and the need of policy guidelines from the Board regarding focus of research agenda.The Board further emphasized the need to conduct a Review Study on the Programme and Management of the organization for the past five years and formulate Perspective Research Plan for the next five years in a similar pattern adopted by the International Agricultural Research Centers of the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).The Board constituted a three-member committee to formulate a proposal indicating the context, scope of study, objectives, detailed terms of reference, deliverables and estimated cost of the review. The committee will submit report within a month time.The PARC Board recommended the payment of 50 percent ad hoc relief allowance to the employees of the Council. Furthermore, the Board also directed PARC to submit the case to the Ministry of Finance for their concurrence and approval for the supplementary grant for PARC to make payment of adhoc relief allowance to the employees and the pensioners.The Board directed PARC to review the on-going research projects and prioritize  essential projects which can contribute towards the  agricultural economy.The Executive Committee of the Board was assigned the task to defer   projects, whose outcome seemed difficult and identify projects whose targets could be achieved in a short duration.The Board discussed in depth the new initiatives, and directed the PARC  to close initiatives undertaken at individual farms. Rest of the initiatives would be reviewed in depth especially the new research stations, which have been established in various provinces to reduce the financial burden of PARC – APP