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December 10, 2019

Passco directed to release 50,000 tons wheat to Sindh

Business

December 10, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research Khusro Bakhtiar on Monday directed Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Corporation Limited (Passco) to immediately release 50,000 tons of wheat to Sindh.

The minister issued the order of release of wheat to flour mills from Passco stock in Sindh during a meeting. “MoU (memorandum of understanding) between Passco and government of Sindh for the release of 300,000 tons of wheat would be signed in the current week,” an official statement quoted the food minister as saying.

The statement said there is no issue with the stocks released from Passco to provincial food departments of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) “for release of wheat would start today from Sindh”. Bakhtiar stressed the timely release and availability of wheat from Passco to Sindh and KPK.

The meeting focused on the availability of wheat in the country and its pricing trends, releases of wheat from Passco and its finical implications, viewpoints of Pakistan Flour Mills Association on the issue of delayed release of wheat, transportation issues and distribution of wheat

stock among flour mills in Karachi.

“After detailed deliberations, it was unanimously agreed that Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) will deliver the wheat flour at ex-mill price of Rs43/kilogram in Karachi, and will ensure the same,” the statement said.

Food minister directed the formulation of a committee comprising representatives from Passco, food departments of Sindh and KPK, and PFMA under the chairmanship of federal food secretary. The committee has been tasked to ensure smooth and timely distribution of wheat to provinces.

Passco held 1.9 million tons of wheat stocks – that consisted of 0.7 million tons of new procurements while 1.2 million tons as buffer stocks – till June 2019.

A senior official of the ministry earlier told The News that the grain procurement and storage agency would be holding more than 500,000 tons of wheat stocks even after release of 900,000 tons to provinces. Of total sanctioned releases, 400,000 tons of wheat would be released to Sindh, 450,000 tons to KPK and 50,000 tons to Balochistan.

The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet recently expressed concern over wheat price hike, directed officials to check hoardings and release of wheat to the provinces to help them avert shortages.

Food secretaries of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and representatives of Punjab Food Department, Passco Managing Director, representatives of Pakistan Flour Mills Association and senior officials of the ministry attended the meeting.