Govt’s mismanagement behind wheat price hike, observes NA body

ISLAMABAD: As wheat and flour prices in the country have drastically increased under the presumption that ‘there will be a shortage of wheat in near future’, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Commerce on Monday saw mismanagement of the government as the main reason behind the hike in prices of largely consumed food items.

The committee, which was chaired by MNA Syed Naveed Qamar, demanded the government to fix the price of wheat and announce maximum incentives to growers so as to prevent wheat crisis.

The chairman highlighted serious mismanagement in prior planning of wheat imports, causing not only a shortage of the commodity in the country but also a huge hike in the price of flour. Qamar directed the Ministry of Food Security to take immediate steps to address the predicted shortage of wheat.

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The committee also observed that the price of wheat in the market is higher than the imported rate. It noted that the subsidiary benefits are going to foreign farmers in the form of imports of wheat at higher rates.

Earlier, the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Food Security & Research briefed the committee on import/exports of wheat and informed them that the cabinet has approved import 1.5 million metric tonnes (MT) of wheat by Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) on the recommendation of the Ministry of Food Security & Research to meet the demand in the country, which will be provided to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), as well as to the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO).

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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]
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