Tuesday November 28, 2023

Wheat price hike

June 20, 2019

Govt to release from PASSCO stocks to end wheat hoardings, contain price

By Israr Khan

ISLAMABAD: Owing to increasing wheat price by hoarders in the market, the government is considering asking the state-run Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation (PASSCO) to release some wheat from stocks to end the artificial price hike, the News has reliably learnt.

“Yes, the Minister for National Food Security and Research and the representatives of provinces were of the firm believe during a Wheat Review Committee’s meeting that the higher authorities should give this permission for early release to kill the deliberate price increase of wheat in the market, as hoarders have become active now,” official sources told The News Wednesday.

The Committee met here with Minister for National Food Security & Research Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan in the chair here Wednesday. The committee was informed that total wheat production during 2018/19 in all provinces stood at 24.279 million tons, while earlier reserves were 3.721 million tons making the total availability at 28 million tons, which is far more than country’s total requirement of 25.8 million tons.

PASSCO Managing Director Muhammad Khan Khichi when contacted, told this correspondent that the government is thinking over releasing some stocks from the PASSCO to curb the price hike. However, he added that smuggling to Afghanistan was one of the major challenges.

He said that so far in new season, PASSCO has procured 0.7 million tons of wheat. In last three years, the procurement was 0.9 million ton each year. He said that this quantity has been procured from Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab.