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Saturday May 07 2022
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KP govt told to curb wheat smuggling

By ,
Web Desk
PM Shehbaz Sharif chairs a high-level meeting in Islamabad, regarding wheat production, existing reserves, and its consumption at the provincial and the national level. — PID
PM Shehbaz Sharif chairs a high-level meeting in Islamabad, regarding wheat production, existing reserves, and its consumption at the provincial and the national level. — PID
  • PM Shehbaz chairs a meeting to review wheat production.
  • Says delayed announcement of wheat support price led to a reduction in cultivation of the crop.
  • PM directs Punjab govt to enhance its target for wheat procurement.


ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of the availability of wheat stock in the country, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Friday called upon the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to take special measures to curb the smuggling of the commodity.

The premier issued the directives while chairing a meeting here at the PM Office on Friday to discuss wheat production, existing reserves and its consumption at the provincial and the national level.

During the meeting, the Food Security Division was ordered to identify the quantity of wheat consumption by KP in consultation with the provincial government to ensure the supply of the required quantity there.

PM Shehbaz further directed the authorities concerned to evolve a comprehensive strategy to check the theft of the commodity and end corruption in the sector. He called for constructing silos to store wheat, adding that it would help eliminate the chances of corruption and theft of wheat.

The PM directed the Punjab government to enhance its target for wheat procurement and instructed the Food Security Division to timely import the commodity, if the need arises, to meet any shortfall.

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The participants were given a detailed briefing about this year's production of wheat in the country. It was told that the target set for the current year was 28.89 million metric tons (MT) of wheat, but the production is likely to remain 26.173 million MT. The overall consumption of wheat is estimated at 30.79MT in the country.

It was shared that reduction in wheat cultivation area, shortage of water and fertiliser crisis, taking place due to maladministration of the previous government, were the main reasons for the gap between the target and expected production of the commodity.

Besides, a 2% reduction in the cultivation of wheat was witnessed among farmers due to the delayed announcement of the support price. Additionally, increase in oil prices and climate changes like early rise in temperature also obstructed the achievement of the set target for wheat production.

Regarding the wheat procurement target at the government level, the meeting was apprised that Punjab had achieved 91.66%, Sindh 49.68% and Balochistan 15.29%, while PASSCO had achieved 100% of its objective.

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The PM was also briefed about public relief measures taken by the government, which include the provision of subsidised wheat to flour mills, availability of 10-kg of wheat flour bags at Rs400, the supply of flour through Utility Stores in Balochistan and the provision of two metric tons of wheat to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The PM said a fertiliser crisis was created at the time of wheat cultivation due to criminal negligence, bad governance and irresponsibility, which caused losses to farmers and the country.

He said Pakistan is an agrarian country and wrong decisions and lack of timely strategy had made it a net importer of wheat.

The PM said the delayed announcement of wheat support price led to a reduction in cultivation of the crop in an attempt to directly benefit hoarders. He expressed his resolve to make Pakistan self-sufficient in wheat production through a better strategy. 

Read more: ‘There will be shortage of wheat this year’