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LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered the suspension of Managing Director and General Manager (Procurement) Passco, and asked the authorities concerned to use technology to make the wheat procurement process clean and transparent.

Both the officers of the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco) were suspended for not following the instructions regarding the use of technology in the wheat procurement process and for being negligent in this regard.

Chairing a meeting regarding wheat stocks here on Monday, the premier said that a mobile phone application should be developed to make the wheat procurement process transparent. He directed the officials to conduct a third-party audit of Passco’s stock and said that insurance of crops should be ensured for the economic security of farmers. He also directed the Passco to procure 0.4 million metric tons of additional wheat transparently and efficiently. Farmers’ loss will not be tolerated under any circumstances, he added.

He said that good-performing Passco centres and officers will be selected and recognised at the government level. “The government is taking every possible step to ensure food security in the country and that all out measures will be taken for the prosperity of farmers,” he added.

Moreover, the Prime Minister congratulated Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on his election as the Chairman of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).

In a statement, the PM said that MQM-P fully supported the government in making difficult decisions for the sake of national interests. He expressed the hope that Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui’s leadership will give new impetus to the party’s efforts in prioritizing the needs of the people.

Meanwhile, the premier in an interview with Saudi state-own television channel, Al Arabiya, said that the government was pursuing its agenda of growth through massive reforms and structural changes.

“My government is committed to bringing huge reforms and structural changes, and we are inching towards that direction. We are focused on the agenda of reforms,” the PM said.

The premier maintained that Pakistan was faced with huge challenges at the macroeconomic level, like the GDP growth ratio, huge loans, energy shortage, weak power transmission system, line losses and expensive power generation. Other challenges include revenue generation, corruption, lack of utilisation of technology, and lack of monitoring and supervision, he added.

He said that Pakistan is an agrarian economy; both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia could enhance cooperation to produce fruits, vegetables, wheat, sugarcane and sunflower, and convert them into value-added products to export them to the Gulf region and other countries. “Similarly, Pakistan could help provide its skilled IT manpower to the Kingdom to help grow both economies,” he said, adding: “Other countries like Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Turkey and China could also become partners in this field and help bring an economic revolution.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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KU May 14, 2024 12:36pm
Where is the investigation on wheat scandal? The rascals are eating up resources of country and get a pat on the hands by suspension only. Destroying Pakistan they are.
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