Wheat grain suppliers and officials from the Punjab food department confirm that the graphic circulating on social media was fake
Updated Friday May 26 2023
Soon after the harvest of the wheat crop began in April in Pakistan, a graphic began doing the rounds on social media. The graphic, purportedly issued by Punjab’s food department, claims that all grain licenses in the province have been cancelled and any selling or buying of wheat is now illegal.
The graphic is fake.
On April 29, Twitter shared an image with a logo of the Punjab government. The image alleges that the government has suspended food grain licenses of all growers in the province, and any dealings in the wheat crop is now illegal.
“Wheat seized, due to illegal transportation, will be purchased at the price of Rs3,000 per 40kg instead of Rs3,900,” the graphic further added.
The tweet had been viewed about 28,000 times and retweeted over 100 times, at the time of writing.
A wheat grain supplier and officials from the Punjab food department confirm that no such decision has been taken nor any such notification or graphic has been issued by the government.
“This [image] has not been issued by any food department official of the government of Punjab,” Muhammad Zaman Wattoo, the secretary at Punjab’s food Department, told Geo Fact Check via WhatsApp, adding that the graphic was “fake”.
While Amir Rauf Khawaja, the public relations officer at the department, told Geo Fact Check over the phone that the wheat crop can only be transported with a permit.
“If [wheat] bags are caught being moved around without a permit the truck will be confiscated and a case initiated in a civil court,” he said, adding that thus there was no question of the government buying illegally transported wheat bags at a low price of Rs3,000 for 40 kg.
Geo Fact Check also reached out to Rana Imran Jameel, a licensed food grain trader in Mianwali, Punjab. He further confirmed that neither has he nor the food grain market received such instructions.
With additional reporting by Muhammad Binyameen Iqbal.
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