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Govt mulls uniform wheat support price

Sindh had announced higher support price at Rs2200 per 40 kg. Source: FILE.

ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam said the government was mulling over finding a constitutional way out to set a uniform support price for wheat to stop provinces from fixing a different minimum support price.

The minister terming Sindh government’s announcement of higher wheat support price against the price set by the federal government a ‘non-serious and anti-people action.”

“Before announcing the minimum support price of wheat at Rs1950 per 40 kg, the federal government had asked the Sindh government to send its proposal to the federal government but it failed to do and instead announced much higher support price at Rs2200 per 40 kg,” he said while addressing a press conference along with Minister for Industries Khusro Bakhtyar.

Fakhar Imam said that the difference in support price created distortion, and encouraged hoarding and profiteering. He said the federal government had set the wheat support price at the rate of Rs 1950 to maintain a balance between purchasing power of the consumer and input cost of the farmers.

The minister added that due to higher support price announced by the Sindh government last year, the prices wheat in the province was much higher than in Punjab.

With respect to the wheat stock in the country, he said there was no shortage of the commodity as the government had enough wheat stocks sufficient till first week of June 2022 He said the government had 5.3 million tons of wheat and after arriving of 1.3 million tons of imported wheat, the stocks would reach to over 6.6 million tons.

“We are releasing 40,000 tons of the commodity on daily basis and if this release continues, the stock would be available till first week of June next year,” he added.

He said the people of the province were suffering and bound to purchase unjustified costly wheat flour due to wrong policies of the Sindh government. He said this year, the government imported much less wheat compared to the set target which helped save precious foreign exchange of over $800 million.

Minister for Industries Khusro Bakhtyar said the Sindh province had become a safe haven for hoarders and profiteers. He said a huge amount of urea fertilizer which was basic input for most of the major crops was transported from the rest of the country to Sindh to hoard it.

He said in Punjab, the government was conducting crackdowns against the dealers involved in hoarding while the Sindh government was doing nothing against them and hence they were shifting it to Sindh province.

He said the people must ask the People’s Party government in Sindh as to identify any of the step it had taken for the welfare of public. “There are many other ways of doing politics therefore the Sindh government should not do politics on poor consumers’ price,” he added.

 

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