Bumper crop of 3.6m metric tons of wheat has been harvested in Sindh this year

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Provincial Ministers Sharjeel Inam Memon and Mukesh Kumar Chawla have said that a bumper crop of 3.6 million metric tons of wheat has been harvested in Sindh this year, which is 2 million metric tons more than last year yield. It’s full Credit goes to the leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party, who timely decided to fix the support price of wheat at Rs 4,000 per maund and saved the country from food crisis.

The provincial ministers said that the Sindh government has set a target of 1.4 million metric tons for the procurement of wheat this year, 7.5 metric tons has been achieved till date, and added that Sindh government will achieve 100% of the target in May. They said that the Sindh government has imposed a ban on the transportation of wheat in view of wheat crisis and all borders are sealed so that wheat cannot be smuggled out. The borders will be opened once Sindh government achieve its target. They said that enough wheat stock is available with Sindh government and flour Mills of Karachi are being supplied wheat at a rate of Rs . 10500 per sack on a daily basis.

They said that Sindh government stands with it’s commitment made with the Karachi flour mills. Till date, the target of supplying 500000 sacks to Flour Mills Association will be completed in the first phase. In the second stage, the owners of the flour mills should submit their challans and wheat supply will be ensured to them as per their requirements.They expressed these views while talking to the media at the Sindh Assembly Media Corner. Provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said that even before 2007, we used to import wheat, but in 2008, when Pakistan People’s Party government came to power and Asif Ali Zardari became the President of Pakistan, he paid special attention to the agriculture sector and as a result Pakistan became self-sufficient in wheat production and started to export wheat.

He said that this time also due to climate change and floods, there was a big loss in the agriculture sector, farmers and growers went through difficult conditions.He said that former President Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah consulted and fixed the support price of wheat at Rs 4,000 per maund so that farmers and growers would grow wheat.Though the governments of other provinces had criticised the increase in the wheat support price. Apart from this, the Sindh government also gave a subsidy of Rs 5000 per acre to the farmers and growers for the purchase of seeds.

The results of which are in front of everyone and today there has been abundant wheat production in Sindh. Those who opposed this decision today also consider it a wise move. He said that imported wheat cost Rs. 9000 per ton, on which we have to spend foreign exchange and compromise on the quality of wheat. He said that the credit goes to the leadership of Pakistan People’s Party that due to their vision we have a bumper crop of wheat today. He said that if Sindh government had not taken decision of increasing wheat support price, the province has not been able to yield 50 percent of present bumper crop.

He added that availabliliby of atta to people is top agenda of Sindh government in skyrocketed inflation. He said that Sindh government has successfully completed the task of providing atta at Rs 65 per kg to those whose income was less than Rs 50,000 during the month of Ramadan. He said that 7 million people were transferred subside through Benazir income support program for the purchase of atta. Talking on the occasion, Provincial Food Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla said that Sindh government made commitment with Flour Mills Association to supply them 2 million sacks of wheat.

In the first phase, 6000 sacks have to be provided to each flour mill, which makes a total of 500000 sacks.He said that the flour mills have submitted the challans and the Sindh government has started the supply of wheat from the warehouse of Passco . The complete record of which is available. The supply of 500000 sacks to flour mills will be completed by today.He said that in the second phase, the flour mills should submit their challans and their supply will be started from tomorrow. He said that 140 vehicles are being loaded from the Pasco warehouse on a daily basis, except for the 5-days of Eid holidays. He said that this operation is continue since April 15.

The minister said that Flour mills are being supplied wheat in Karachi with the help of PASCO at a rate of Rs 10,500 per sack on which Rs 3,500 is being given as subsidy. He added that Sindh government had spent Rs 8 to 10 billion subsidy on 500000 sacks. It will cost Rs. 12 to 15 billion on 2 million sacks of wheat.

The purpose of which is to supply flour to the people at a reasonable price. He said that first time in history , Sindh government is supplying wheat to the flour mills even in the month of April.He said that the border cannot be opened until the Sindh government achieve its procurement target. When the target is met, the restriction will be removed. He said that flour mills of Karachi were allowed 10 days to bring wheat from other districts of Sindh to Karachi, due to which the price of wheat increased. He said that 200 trucks of flour mills were also allowed to bring wheat to Karachi.

He said that under the Hoarding Ordinance, the Sindh government has the authority to confiscate the wheat of the trucks, but we are not doing this so that no one is harmed. He said that it cost Rs. 12,000 per sack to flour millers to bring wheat from other district to Karachi, while the Sindh government is providing them at Rs 10,500 per sack in Karachi.

Mr. Chawla said that the Sindh government has done procurement of wheat for 15 to 20 days in April due to Ramadan and has achieved 50 percent of the target, as banks used to close it’s operation early during Ramadan. Provincial Food Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla said in response to a question that Rs 200 per kg of flour is beyond comprehension, flour should be available to people at Rs 120 to 125 per kg.
The Sindh government is providing flour to the mill owners at Rs 10500 per sack, if Rs 1500 per sack added as grinding and profit margin to it, the price of flour becomes Rs 120 to 125 per kg. He said that when the flour Association was asked why they are giving expensive flour, they said that they will go on strike. The provincial food minister said that complaints should be registered against mills selling expensive flour, Sindh government will take strict action against them.