Govt mulling over finding constitutional way out to set uniform wheat support price

Govt mulling over finding constitutional way out to set uniform wheat support price
APP22-251121 ISLAMABAD: November 25 - Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research, Syed Fakhar Imam and Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdom Khusro Bakhtiyar jointly addressing a press conference at PID Media Center. APP photo by Saleem Rana

ISLAMABAD, Nov 25 (APP): Terming the Sindh government’s announcement of higher wheat support price against the price set by the federal government, a non-serious and anti-people action, Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam Thursday said the government was mulling over finding a constitutional way out to set a uniform support price of the commodity to stop the provinces from fixing a different minimum support price.

“Before announcing the minimum support price of wheat at Rs 1950 per 40 kg, the federal government had asked the Sindh government to send its proposal to the federal government but it failed to do and instead announced much higher support price at Rs 2200 per 40 kg,” he said while addressing a press conference here along with Minister for Industries Khusro Bakhtyar.

Fakhar Imam said that the difference in support price created distortion, and encouraged hoarding and profiteering.

He said the federal government had set the wheat support price at the rate
of Rs 1950 to maintain a balance between purchasing power of the consumer and input cost of the farmers.

The minister added that due to higher support price announced by the Sindh government last year, the prices wheat in the province was much higher than in Punjab.

With respect to the wheat stock in the country, he said there was no shortage of the commodity as the government had enough wheat stocks sufficient till first week of June 2022.

Till date, he said the government had 5.3 million tons of wheat and after arriving of 1.3 million tons of imported wheat, the stocks would reached to over 6.6 million tons.

“We are releasing 40,000 tons of the commodity on daily basis and if this release continues, the stock would be available till first week of June next year,” he added.

He said the people of the province were suffering and bound to purchase unjustified costly wheat flour due to wrong policies of the Sindh government.

He said this year, the government imported much less wheat compared to the set target which helped saving precious foreign exchange of over $800 million.

Minister for Industries Khusro Bakhtyar said the Sindh province had become a safe haven for hoarders and profiteers.

He said a huge amount of urea fertilizer which was basic input for most of the major crops was transported from rest of the country to Sindh to hoard it.

He said in Punjab, the government was conducting crackdowns against the dealers involved in hoarding while the Sindh government was doing nothing against them therefore they were shifting it to Sindh province.

He said the people must ask the People’s Party government in Sindh as to identify any of the step it had taken for the welfare of public.

“There are many other ways of doing politics therefore the Sindh government should not do politics on poor consumers’ price,” he added.