ISLAMABAD: Following the government’s orders, the Department of Plant Protection has so far issued import permits to 380 private importers for procurement of 1,576,000 tonnes of wheat, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research said on Wednesday.
According to details, six letters of credit (LCs) have been opened in this regard while two were currently under process. Nine vessels have been booked for wheat import up till October this year, each carrying approximately 65,000 metric tonnes of wheat.
The first vessel (60,804 metric tonnes of wheat) is expected to arrive in Karachi on 26 August, while the second ship (65,000 metric tonnes) is scheduled to arrive on August 28, and the third container (69,000 metric tonnes) is expected to reach on September 8.
Similarly, the fourth vessel with 55,000 metric tonnes of wheat will reach Pakistan on September 12, while the fifth and sixth vessels, with 65,000 metric tonnes of wheat each, will arrive on Sept 17 and 19, respectively.
The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has invited international tenders for the import of 1.5m metric tonnes of wheat. Three recipients have endorsed the quantity imported wheat: Punjab (0.70m metric tonnes), Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (0.30m metric tonnes) and PASSCO (0.50m metric tonnes).
It is expected that the first shipment of imported wheat through TCP will reach during the second week of October, the ministry stated.
It may be noted that in order to review wheat and flour prices, a high-level meeting was held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM Office on March 3, 2020.
The Ministry of National Food Security and Research had briefed the meeting about the measures being taken in this regard, including imports through government-to-government arrangement, TCP, Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Corporation and the private sector.
After listening to the briefing and keeping in view the scarcity of wheat in the country, it was advised to make immediate arrangements for the import of up to 1.5 million tonnes through TCP.