KARACHI: Zubair Tufail, President of the United Business Group (UBG), has applauded the Prime Minister of Pakistan decision to form a committee under the Ministry of National Food Security and Research Division.

This committee will address the situation arising from wheat imports and resolve farmers’ grievances regarding wheat sales and procurement of wheat bags within four days.

Clarifying the import of wheat, Zubair Tufail stated that the government did not provide any subsidy on wheat imports, which were undertaken by private companies and wheat importers. Therefore, allegations against the interim government are unjustified.

He explained that approximately 3.2 million tonnes of wheat were imported between September 2023 and March 2024, while the local crop hit the market in April, based on data from the food security department. The caretaker government had planned to import wheat, allowing the private sector to do so.

Zubair Tufail also welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision for the Federal government, through the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO), to procure 1.8 million tonnes of wheat, ensuring maximum benefits to farmers and timely payments. The government is exploring ways to procure more wheat from growers, he added.

Zubair Tufail emphasized that Pakistan requires around 27 million tonnes of wheat, facing a shortage of approximately 4 million tonnes, which needs to be addressed in the coming years.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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