ISLAMABAD, Jan 21 (APP):National Food Security and Research Minister Khusro Bakhtiar on Tuesday informed the Senate that sufficient four million tonnes of wheat was available in public sector and there was no shortage of the commodity in the country.
Winding debate on flour and wheat crisis in the country in the Senate, the minister said artificial crisis was emerged due to disturbance of supply change in the country. He said mechanism was evolved with the collaboration of provincial governments to overcome current artificial wheat and flour crisis in the country.
The minister said there was no shortage of wheat reserves in the country and wheat supply had been enhanced to the provinces to end the existing crisis. Wheat supply to Sindh had been enhanced to 10,000-12,000 tonnes daily from the stock of Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO), he added.
Similarly, around 5000 tonnes wheat was also being supplied to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on daily basis from the government and private sector stock, the minister said. Bakhtiar said that the prices of flour was gradually decreasing in Sindh, Punjab and KPK. He said the Sindh government’s failure to timely lift wheat from the PASSCO and recent goods transporters strike caused the artificial crisis in the province.
He said the Sindh government had failed to procure “even a single grain of wheat” this year even though its target was set at 700,000 tonnes. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government was receiving 2,000 tonnes of wheat every day while Sindh was lifting only 150 tonnes, he added. He said federal government had approved 400,000 tonnes of wheat for Sindh, but the province had only lifted around 100,000 tonnes.
The minister said by the end of the season, we would have 850,000 tonnes of wheat in stock for next year. The minister said the government had enhanced the wheat support price to Rs 1365 from Rs 1300 per 40 kg. He said the government had set a target of 8 million tonnes of wheat procurement for the next year.