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PM Sharif satisfied over current sugar price

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad on Friday.

Expressing satisfaction over the current price of sugar in the country, the Prime Minister said that after three years the price of sugar in the country has come down which is a relief to the people.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was also directed to provide cash credit facilities to PASCO for the procurement of wheat.

Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the Punjab Government to enhance its target for wheat procurement and instructed the Food Security Division to timely import the commodity, if the need arises, to meet any shortfall.

He gave these instructions while chairing a high-level meeting in Islamabad on Friday, regarding wheat production, existing reserves, and its consumption at the provincial and the national level.

The Prime Minister also issued directions for curbing the smuggling of wheat, evolving a comprehensive strategy to check theft of the commodity and corruption. He also directed to present a strategy for the construction of silos to store wheat.

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He said the construction of silos will help eliminate corruption and theft of wheat. He said a fertilizer crisis was created at the time of wheat cultivation due to criminal negligence, bad governance and irresponsibility, which caused losses to farmers and the country. Shehbaz Sharif said Pakistan is an agrarian country and wrong decisions and lack of timely strategy have made it a net importer of wheat.

Shehbaz Sharif said delayed announcement of the wheat support price led to reduction in cultivation of the crop in an attempt to directly benefit hoarders. He expressed the resolve to make Pakistan self-sufficient in wheat production through better strategy.

The meeting was given detailed briefing about this year’s production of wheat in the country. It was told that the target set for current year was 28.89 metric tons of wheat, but the production is likely to remain 26.173 metric tons. The overall consumption of wheat is estimated at 30.79 metric tons in the country. It was told that reduction in wheat cultivation area, shortage of water, and fertilizer crisis, occurred due to maladministration of the last government, are the main reasons behind the gap between the target and expected production of the wheat. 

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