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ISLAMABAD, Sep 22 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday said that wheat and sugar were among the basic needs of people, so its availability at affordable prices should be ensured.

He also directed that sufficient availability of wheat, considering the local requirements and consumption, should also be ensured.

The prime minister was chairing a meeting to review availability and prices of wheat and sugar, PM office media wing in a press release said.

A detailed report regarding situation about availability of wheat, and its import at the official and private level was also submitted before the prime minister.

The meeting was attended by Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for Industries Muhammad Hamad Azhar, PM’s advisor Abdul Razak Dawood, PM’s special assistant Dr Shahbaz Gill, secretaries concerned, chief secretaries and senior officials.

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It was apprised that about 400,000 metric tonnes of wheat had so far been imported by the private whereas an additional import of 1000,000 tonnes would reach the country next month.

The chairman Trading Corporation of Pakistan apprised that at the official level, about 1500,000 metric tonnes wheat was being imported. For procurement of additional 330,000 metric tonnes wheat, a tender had been floated followed by others. Besides, from government to government level agreement, the wheat was also being imported, he added.

The prime minister directed that he should be regularly kept apprised of the progress on import of wheat.

It was further apprised that under the government’s decision, sugar import continued and it was being ensured that there should be no gap in its demand and supply.

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The chief secretary Punjab apprised the prime minister that sugar mills were bound to start crushing season from November 15. Under the law, any delay in the crushing process would entail a fine of Rs 5000,000 per day.