Wheat, sugar prices to come down soon: Hammad Azhar

ISLAMABAD: Industries & Production Minister Hammad Azhar said on Monday that prices of wheat and sugar would come down as soon as imported wheat and sugar arrives in the country.

Addressing a press briefing along with Information & Broadcasting Minister Shibli Faraz, he said after the arrival of imported wheat and sugar in the country, the hoarders who were storing the commodities would also start releasing their stocks in the open market, which would lead to a further reduction in the prices of wheat and sugar.

He said the price of sugar was already on the decline after the reports of the commodity being imported.

The minister maintained that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was striving hard to put the country’s economy on the right track.

Taking a dig at the previous governments, Hamad Azhar said the two ruling families had looted the state money during their tenures, putting the economy on the verge of default.

“The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had committed criminal acts by dragging the country’s economy to a situation from where recovery was nearly impossible, but it was the PTI government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, which had put the economy back on the path of development,” he claimed.

Azhar said in June 2018, Moody’s rating agency had downgraded Pakistan’s economy due to the wrong policies of the PML-N government, adding that all international credit rating agencies were now forecasting the outlook of Pakistan’s economy as stable.

He informed that the current account deficit of Pakistan was reduced from $2 billion per month to a surplus of over $400 million in July 2020.

“We also renegotiated the terms and conditions with the independent power producers for the betterment of the power sector.” 

He informed that during the previous regime, over 200 spinning mills were closed but now all of them were running on full capacity.

On Covid-19, he said the government had left no stone unturned to ensure that the country’s economy did not fall astray.

He said the sale of utility stores had increased by seven times, and that it would come out of operational losses during the current fiscal year.

The minister further informed that the government had recently launched a Bus Rapid Transit Project (BRT) in Peshawar to reduce pollution and solve traffic issues of the city. “It is the best ever facility given by the government in the history of Pakistan under which the people of Peshawar are getting full benefits on affordable rates.”

He said the launch of Sehat Insaf Card for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) was also a golden chapter in the history of the country.

“For the first time, the entire population of a province is going to be covered through this health insurance scheme and the credit for this landmark achievement goes to the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he asserted. “In contrast, the past governments did nothing for the welfare of the poor and the underprivileged.”

Speaking on the occasion, the information minister said new agreements were being inked with IPPs that would enable the government to purchase cheap electricity from private companies.

He said that the past governments had failed to protect the rights of consumers by signing expensive power contracts, adding that it was not possible to undo such contracts unilaterally.

He informed that the government was encouraging renewable energy which would ultimately help ease dependence on petroleum fuel and reduce the cost of electricity production.

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