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LAHORE: The Pakistan Agricultural Services & Storage Corporation (PASSCO) will be receiving 300,000 metric tons of wheat to supplement its stocks by July 2021 in shape of six tranches of 50,000 metric tons each.

The PASSCO will receive this wheat as a part of government efforts during the current financial year to import wheat to meet the domestic flour and other wheat products requirements. It had already 500,000 metric tons during the current year out of which one vessel each was given to Punjab and KPK provinces to meet their wheat requirement, said PASSCO GM (Field) Major Muzahir Iqbal (retd).

While talking to Business Recorder here on Monday, he said during the current wheat procurement drive (2021-22), the Corporation could only procure 812,000 metric tons against the target of 1.2 million metric tons of grains assigned by the federal government.

He said higher prices of wheat in Sindh and Balochistan deprived the corporation of opportunity to meet its wheat procurement target in this province and it could only buy grains from Punjab. When asked, he said they are still receiving wheat but in negligible quantity at the Corporation’s procurement centre in Punjab province as they have not stopped purchasing the grain.

Muzahir Iqbal said this year national wheat production remained around 27.7 million metric tons while total national requirement is over 29 million metric tons. He said that is why the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has decided to import 3 million metric tons of grains to supplement the stocks and meet the national requirement.

Out of this, PASSCO will be importing 2.5 million tons. However, this grain will be imported through Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), G2G and private sector. “We have written a letter to the government to clear the mechanism of importing our share of grains, which will be used for building up our stocks and strategic reserves. Stocks are used for army, Gilgit-Baltistan, Utility Stores and other areas which have shortage of wheat while strategic reserves are maintained at about 1 million tons for any emergency,” he concluded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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