A newspaper report says that in recent cabinet meeting some members have questioned the rational of exemption given to certain importers of wheat, who have been found involved in hoarding of the commodity, which led to its shortage and snowballing the price rise. The findings of Inquiry Commission report against the sugar and flour millers have exposed their monopoly, hoarding and Cartelisation tactics to increase prices. Allowing them to import wheat is beyond comprehension.
The price of sugar has gone up to Rs.100 a kilogram and that 20 kilogram bag of wheat to Rs.1350, whereas the minimum support price of Rs. 1400 per 40 kilogram has been paid to growers during this harvesting season. The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet had approved wheat import through private sector few months ago, without imposing quantity limit. The decision was appreciated in these columns with the suggestion that wheat supply augmenting measure through liberal import of the commodity will achieve the desired result only when cartel stakeholders are barred from its import. But unfortunately hoarders and cartel stakeholders have been exempted from ant-hoarding act. Hence no surprise but expression of outrage, anguish and indignation by the people against the government is justified.