Pakistan spends $1bn on wheat imports in 9MFY24

ECC allowed the private sector to import wheat in July 2023

Pakistan has imported wheat worth $1 billion in the first nine months (July-March) of the current financial year 2023-24 compared to $997 million in the same period of the last fiscal year.

The country has imported 3.4 million tonnes of wheat from July to March during the ongoing fiscal year.

On the recommendation of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet allowed the private sector to import wheat from the international market without involving any subsidy. 

The ECC of the Cabinet in July 2023 asked the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to open of LC for wheat import.

Pakistan, an agro-based economy produced 27 million tonnes of wheat for domestic consumption in the current year, while it required 31 million tonnes of grain to feed its population.

The country was facing an estimated shortfall of 2.5 million tonnes of wheat, which is the staple food of most of the countrymen.

Earlier, a report from the Auditor General pointed out that the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) and the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) imported expensive wheat resulting in losses of billions of rupees to the national exchequer.

The people had to purchase wheat flour at a very expensive price, the Auditor General disclosed in the annual report.

The report also pointed out that the private sector imported wheat on a cheaper price than the TCP and the PASSCO.

According to the report, the national exchequer suffered 31.32 million US dollars in loss owing to wheat import at inflated rates.

The audit report focused on the import data of wheat from Year 2017 to 2022.


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