Sindh plans to import wheat
KARACHI: The Sindh government is working on a strategy to overcome the wheat shortage in the province following the failure of talks between the four provinces on Saturday on lifting the ban on wheat movement imposed in Punjab and Sindh.
According to official sources, the food department has prepared a summary for chief minister Ali Mohammed Maher, in which it has suggested three proposals, including importing at least one million tonnes of wheat from abroad.
It has also suggested to the chief minister that if the government increased the support price of wheat from the present Rs 350 a tonne, it could get more wheat for its strategic reserves. Officials of the food department termed the situation critical after the refusal of the Punjab government to lift the ban on inter-provincial movement of wheat. They reiterated the Sindh government’s stand that it was in favour of a free-market policy, but was forced to impose the ban in the province after its imposition in the Punjab. Officials said the final decision regarding the next strategy of the department would be taken after the chief minister’s remarks were received. The Sindh government had set a 600,00 tonnes of wheat as a procurement target for the current year, but the food department has told the chief minister it cannot achieve the target in the prevailing situation.
Food secretary Mir Mohammed Parhiar told the chief minister at a meeting on Thursday that the annual wheat requirement of the province was 4.4 million tonnes against its total production of 2.2 million tonnes, and there was already a shortfall of 2.2 million tonnes.