ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Council (ECC) has decided to propose to the cabinet Rs 1600 as minimum support price (MSP) per forty kilograms (maunds) for wheat crop this year.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting the ECC at the Cabinet Division It was briefed to the ECC that the support price mechanism plays a pivotal role in boosting wheat production as it stabilises market and increases profitability of the farmers.
Since 2010-2011, the MSP for wheat has been revised four times. The new price which has been decided by the ECC is close to the price recommended by Punjab, which is the largest producer of wheat in the country.
The ECC turned down the proposed minimum support price of wheat by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research at Rs1,745 per 40 kg and preferred to keep the price close to the one suggested by Punjab at Rs1,650 per 40kg.
ECC was also apprised of the status of wheat import by the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP). Till January 2021, TCP shall be able to secure one million metric tonnes wheat.
ECC decided that the initial allocation of TCP for the import of 1.50 MMT wheat may be enhanced to 1.80 MMT to cater for the additional requirement of 0.30 MMT demanded by the KP and Sindh for shipment by mid-February. It was also decided that 300,000 metric tonnes of wheat shall be imported from Russia by Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO).
ECC endorsed the request of Ministry of Food to import another 320,000 from Russia but constituted a committee of secretaries of finance, commerce and Food Ministry to look into the possibility of import of wheat either by PASSCO or TCP.
Keeping in view the arrival of the new crop in March 2021, the forum decided that no vessel of imported wheat should be arranged either in the public or private sector beyond February 2021.