PEW expresses concerns over hike in wheat prices

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Chairman Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) Brigadier (retd) Muhammad Aslam Khan has express serious concerns over more than 32 per cent increase in the issue price of wheat being provided to flour mills, saying it will result in inflation and hit masses.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, he demanded strict action against elements involved in delaying the import of wheat and sugar which resulted in a price hike.
Brig. (rtd) Muhammad Aslam Khan said unnecessary delay in import of wheat and sugar has not only increased prices in the local market but will also inflict heavy losses on the national exchequer.
Change in Afghanistan has also increased demand for wheat which will have an impact on prices in Pakistan therefore wheat should be imported without delay, he added.
The Chairman Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) Brigadier (retd) Muhammad Aslam Khan said that Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) delayed import of wheat and sugar despite repeated requests from Ministry for National Food Security.
The government decided to import half a million tonnes of sugar in the month of January but so far only one hundred thousand tonnes of sugar was imported which pushed up the prices locally benefitting hoarders, he said.
Similarly, Aslam Khan said, wheat was not imported when it was available in the international market for $280 per tonne and now 120000 tonnes of wheat will be imported at a cost of 369.50 dollars per tonne which will not only hit the public exchequer but the masses facing inflation.
He questioned the logic of unnecessary delay in procurement of wheat and sugar and asked “what prevents TCP from timely procurement of commodities which are tied to food security”.
The Chairman PEW called for strict action against officials of TCP involved in damaging the interests of the masses.