- Says federal government will supply commodity to public at low cost
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif raised on Monday concerns over non-fulfilment of wheat procurement targets by the provinces and fixed June 1 as the deadline for them to complete the procurement, reported Aaj News.
In a meeting, PM Shehbaz directed the Minister for National Food Security to constitute a committee for transparent distribution of imported wheat amongst the provinces.
He stressed that the public should be facilitated at all costs and assured participants that the federal government was ready to offer support and would not tolerate any kind of carelessness in wheat procurement.
“The federal government will supply wheat to the public at a low cost,” he reiterated.
Earlier, the federal government decided to enhance wheat procurement targets for Punjab and Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation (PASSCO) by 01 MMT and 0.5 MMT respectively.
Sources had told Business Recorder PM Shehbaz held a meeting on wheat issues.
PASSCO and Punjab Food Department explained the progress of their current wheat procurement drive. They said that on April 30 wheat procurement targets of 1.20 MMT and 4.00 MMT were met but Punjab was struggling to enhance its procurement target from 4.0 MMT to 5.00 MMT.
The PM directed PASSCO to procure additional 0.5 MMT of wheat. It was decided that the Ministry of National Food Security & Research should move a summary to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet for obtaining formal approval for the procurement of additional quantity of 0.50 MMT for PASSCO and 1.00 MMT for Punjab with their Cash Credit Limits (CCL).
On May 11, the ECC had directed the ministry to submit a summary allowing Sindh to procure additional wheat, when it has bought its initial quota.
In compliance with the direction of the PM office, PASSCO and Punjab have geared up for the new assignments of additional wheat procurement. PASSCO has submitted a letter for assigned additional target of 0.50 MMT with the CCL of Rs 28.50 billion.
Punjab forwarded a copy of the letter which was sent to the Finance Division requesting for enhancing their procurement target up to the level of 4.5 MMT with the CCL of Rs145.50 billion.