KARACHI: As many as 168,000 metric tonnes of wheat bags have been reported missing from the storage facilities in Sindh.
This is the biggest theft of the wheat from the government’s storage facility which costs Rs 7 billion. It has now been learned that Chief Secretary Sindh has handed over the matter for an inquiry to the anti-corruption department.
There have been allegations of misappropriation of wheat stock available at Provisional Reserve Centers (PRCs) in over nine different districts namely Sukkur, Larkana, Ghotki, Khairpur, Naushehro Feroze, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sanghar, Kashmore, Kandhkot, Qamber and Shahdadkot.
It has been further revealed that wheat worth Rs1.05 billion went missing near Nooriabad while en route to Karachi. This was confirmed by the Food Department but no action has been taken by the provincial government. These practices are becoming the norm and lead to wheat and flour crises by creating artificial shortages as seen earlier this year.
It may be noted that the Sindh government has set a target of 1.4 million tonnes wheat procurement this year. The Sindh cabinet showed dissatisfaction over the procurement drive and has instructed officials of the food department to expedite the wheat purchase drive to ensure timely fulfillment of this year’s procurement target.