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August 20, 2020

First imported wheat cargo to reach Pakistan next week

Business

August 20, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, which exported wheat in 2019, will receive its first cargo of imported grain next week, helping the authorities ease supplies of wheat flour and check runaway domestic prices, the government said on Wednesday.

“Nine vessels have been booked up to October, 2020 for approximately 65,000 tons each,” the ministry of National Food Security and Research said in a statement.

“First vessel carrying 60,804 tons of wheat is expected to be arrived on August 26. Second ship carrying 65,000 tons of wheat is predicted to be arrived on August 28, third container carrying 69,000 tons of wheat is expected to turn up on September 8.”

Similarly fourth vessel with 55,000 MT of wheat will reach Pakistan on September 12, fifth ship with 65,000 tons of wheat will arrive on September 1 and sixth vessel with 65,000 tons will disembark on September 19, 2020.

The ministry said Department of Plant Protection (DPP) has so far issued import permit to 380 private importers for 1,576,000 tons of wheat. Six Letters of Credit (LCs) are opened and two are under process.

Deliveries of wheat may help boost supplies at a time when the availability of the grain in the country falls short of demand.

The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet, in June, gave a go-ahead to the private sector to import 2.5 million tons of wheat to control prices in the domestic market.

Private sector was allowed to import wheat for unlimited period. Regulatory duty of 60 percent, customs duty of 11 percent, sales tax of 17 percent and withholding tax of six percent were abolished on the import.

Imported wheat has also been exempted from the Anti-Hoarding Act imposed by the provincial governments on producing verified import record by the importers. The federal government is to approach the Sindh government to waive off the excise and taxation charges of 1.25 percent on import value of wheat.

The ministry statement said the state-run Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has invited international tenders for the import of 1.5 tons of wheat.

“Three recipients have endorsed the quantity of 1.5 tons of imported wheat -- Punjab (700,000 tons), KP (300,000 tons) and PASSCO (500,000 tons).

It is expected that first shipment of imported wheat through TCP will reach during the second week of October, 2020,” it added.