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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday ordered the suspension of the Managing Director and General Manager Procurement of PASSCO (Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation) “for negligence and non-compliance with the PM’s instructions regarding the use of technology in the wheat procurement process”.

The development came after a high-level meeting regarding the supply and demand of wheat and the federal government’s procurement programme held in Lahore on Monday under the chairmanship of the prime minister, read a statement released by the Pakistan government.

“The loss of the farmer will not be tolerated in any case,” he was quoted as saying.

Wheat procurement: FPCCI body challenges Passco’s competence

The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to use technology to make the process of wheat procurement process efficient and transparent.

Moreover, a mobile phone application should be developed in this regard, he said.

The prime minister also instructed to conduct a third-party audit of PASSCO stock. He directed PASSCO to procure 0.4 million metric tons (MMT) of additional wheat transparently and efficiently.

PASSCO, which is a government-owned corporation in Pakistan responsible for maintaining food security in the country by ensuring the procurement, storage, and distribution of agricultural commodities, has come under hot waters in recent days amid a wheat crisis.

Last week, the Standing Committee on Agriculture of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) showed displeasure over the ‘incompetence’ of PASSCO that they have yet to start the revised wheat procurement target of 0.4MMT.

FPCCI panel chief on Agriculture, Chaudhry Ahmad Jawad said wheat farmers of Punjab are in serious trouble. The officials of PASSCO stopped the wheat procurement which is a contradiction of the Prime Minister’s directives.

He said that he tried to approach managing director (MD) Passco to apprise him of the wheat procurement but continued to be unable to meet him.

Comments

200 characters
KU May 13, 2024 04:12pm
Not enough! Cases should be registered against them for wheat scandal, loss of $1 billion to Pakistan and also against those grade 21 n 22 officers who facilitated the false reports/data.
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Ch K A Nye May 13, 2024 05:32pm
@Maqbool, even they know what incompetence is.
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Arshad Javed May 13, 2024 07:38pm
It is just an eye wash. Suspension and transfers are tactics to show that govt is working diligently in the crisis and after enquiries nothing will be proved against these officers so back to duty.
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A. Chak May 13, 2024 08:51pm
Follow the money trail. Recover the money and imprison the culprit.
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Anwar May 14, 2024 04:25am
“Taking notice”, “suspension”, “inquiries” etc are just for public consumption. Nothing tangible comes out of them.
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[email protected] May 14, 2024 06:45am
But why the care takers are not brought to task
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Usman May 14, 2024 08:04am
What is use of suspension and investigation? There ahould be export of wheat.
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Javed Bhi May 14, 2024 07:42pm
In any company this would have been cause for firing and police case. In I scratch your back and you do mine it's: 'Here, take a vacation to cool off, this stressful period for you'
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Dr Kamran May 15, 2024 04:21am
@KU, Only used the shoulders of officers otherwise the politicians are involved in the scam , please try to get concrete information
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Asim May 15, 2024 10:19am
Kindly ensure that Pasco record is not being burnt
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Asim May 15, 2024 10:20am
Kindly ensure that record is not being burnt
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Mazhar May 15, 2024 10:37am
Why MD Passco should meet PM?PM is corrupt and want to clear himself of the issue which is created by them.
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