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ISLAMABAD: The federal government Friday fixed the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat at Rs 1,800 per 40-kg, in a top-level meeting presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Giving the details of the decisions taken in the meeting, Federal Minister for Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, in a joint press conference with Provincial Food Minister Punjab Abdul Aleem Khan, said, the decision of increasing the minimum support price at Rs 1,800 per 40-kg was taken to facilitate the farmers while common would remain unaffected with this increase.

The decision was also taken in view of prices of wheat in the international market, he said.

The government has fixed a target of 26 million tonnes wheat production in the ongoing year, he said.

Aleem Khan said wheat support price has been increased by Rs 400 per maund (40 kg) in a year for the first time but the prices of flour would be not be increased.

“The support price of wheat has been increased to facilitate the farmers in the best possible way. But we have made sure that common man would not suffer from this increase and all steps have been taken to ensure that flour pries are not increased,” he said adding that the provision of wheat to flour mills would continue as per routine except for the month of April when wheat is procured.

He said flour is being sold to flour mills on subsided rates on the special instructions of the PM.

The government has already given a subsidy of Rs 80 billion to ensure that public gets flour on subsided rates, he added.

“Keeping the flour prices regulated to prevent any increase in these prices is the government’s priority and PM is directly overseeing this entire exercise,” the provincial minister said.

He said flour bag of 20-kg was available across Punjab at Rs 860. “We have maintained that price and not allowed any increase. For this purpose, we have been giving subsidy and we will do whatever possible to make sure common man remains unaffected by increase in wheat support price,” he said.

The minister said procurement of wheat, starting April 15, is coinciding with the Islamic month of Ramzan. Cheaper bazaars offering flour at subsidised rates would be set up in Ramazan to facilitate the public for which arrangements have been finalised, he said.

The government has stocked wheat in abundance to avoid wheat shortage, Khan added.

The minister urged the Sindh government to facilitate the people of Sindh by ensuring the availability of flour in the province at subsidised rates.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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