Centre, provinces making all-out efforts to ensure wheat, flour supply at affordable prices: minister

Fakhar Imam says hike in wheat prices is due to cartelisation and hoarding

ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam on Monday said that the federal government in collaboration with the provincial governments is making all-out efforts to ensure uninterrupted supply of wheat and flour at affordable prices across the country.

While addressing a press conference the food minister reaffirmed his commitment for ensuring smooth supply of wheat and flour at controlled prices across the country.

He said that Pakistan is the eight largest producer of wheat in the world. He assured that supply of wheat at affordable prices would be assured since wheat is one of the staple foods used in the country.

The minister also called upon the Sindh government to release wheat from its stocks in order to bring down the price of the commodity in local markets.

The food minister informed that Sindh’s public sector had procured about 1.25 million tonnes of wheat adding that he had written letters to the Sindh government to finalise its wheat release policy in order to bring stability in local prices of the commodity.

He further said that the hike in wheat prices has been caused due to cartelisation and hoarding of the commodity, adding that the provincial governments must take appropriate actions against such cartels.

He said that the Ministry of National Food Security and Research was taking all necessary measures in order to ensure sustainable supply of wheat at controlled prices.

He said that in order to overcome the gap between supply and demand of wheat the government has allowed import of wheat and that hoarding of the commodity will not be tolerated.

Fakhar Imam said that the Punjab government had initiated the release of wheat and all provinces are collaborating with each other in order to ensure smooth supply of wheat, adding that the federal government is also strengthening its efforts to bring stability in the wheat market.

He further informed that the federal government has also been facilitating private sector imports to ensure timely import of the commodity.

Speaking on the occasion, Ministry of National Food Security and Research Federal Secretary Omer Hameed said that the shipments carrying imported wheat would arrive in local markets by August 25.

He informed that about one million tonnes of wheat would be imported. Moreover the Trading Corporation of Pakistan can also import one to two million tonnes of wheat.

He informed that the imported wheat will be made available at Rs1,780 per 40 kilogrammes (kg).

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