Achievement of procurement target: Punjab likely to ban wheat transportation
By Nauman Tasleem
LAHORE: The Punjab government is all set to ban inter-district and inter-provincial transportation of wheat for achieving the procurement target and ensuring availability of roti at subsidised rates, sources told Daily Times on Wednesday.
They said the ban would come into force in the third week of April. Punjab Food Secretary Irfan Elahi said, “There will be no ban, if we get a bumper crop.”
However, rains may damage the crop while less availability of fertiliser could result in a low yield.
Sources said one of the reasons behind the likely ban was the achievement of the procurement target. A senior government official said the federal government had vowed four months ago not to impose a ban on wheat transportation, but the Punjab government had decided to impose the ban to stop the commodity being smuggled out of the province.
Smuggle: Wheat could be smuggled into neighbouring countries where its prices are relatively higher, he added.
The federal government had set a target of procuring 6.55 million tonnes (MT) of wheat for 2009 at an estimated cost of Rs 111 billion. The price was fixed at Rs 950 per 40 kilogrammes. The Punjab was given a target to procure 3.5 million tonnes; Sindh 1.2 MT; NWFP 0.3 MT; and Balochistan 0.05 MT. The Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) is likely to store 1.5 MT.
The Punjab government has fixed targets for each district. The targets, in metric tonnes, are: 2,330 for Rawalpindi, 1,170 for Attock, 1,170 for Jhelum, 1,170 for Chakwal, 105,000 for Gujranwala, 46,670 for Gujrat, 81,670 for Sialkot, 5,000 for Lahore-1, 5,000 for Lahore-2, 100,000 for Sheikhupura, 50,000 for Kasur, 143,330 for Okara, 105,000 for Faisalabad, 87,500 for Toba Tek Singh, 274,170 for Jhang, 134,170 for Sargodha, 64,170 for Mianwali, 151,670 for Bhakkar, 166,830 for Multan, 101,500 for Lodhran, 186,670 for Vehari, 186,670 for Sahiwal, 81,670 for Pakpattan, 186,670 for Khanewal, 105,000 for DG Khan, 145,830 for Muzaffargarh, 163,330 for Rajanpur, 116,670 for Layyah, 250,830 for Bahawalpur, 274,170 for Bahawalnagar and 175,000 for Rahim Yar Khan district.