Islamabad, March 19, 2020 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar chaired a meeting via video link regarding arrangements made for the procurement of wheat here in Islamabad today. The meeting was also attended by the Federal Secretary NFS and R, provincial Ministers for Agriculture of Punjab and KP, Managing Director PASSCO and Secretaries of Food Departments of Punjab, Sindh and KP. Wheat procurement target of PASSCO is stated to be 1.8 MT. The procurement target is set at 4.5 Million Tons, 1.4 Million Tons, 1 Million Ton and 0.45 Million Tons for Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and KP respectively. The minimum support price (MSP) is approved at Rs 1400/- per 40 kg.
The Minister was briefed that 1162 wheat purchase centers throughout the entire country have been established and district administration in all provinces had been ordered to take strong legal action in order to curb the hoarding. All the participants of the meeting showed consensus that procurement of wheat by feed millers, non-players like rice mills and ginners etc. should be disallowed. The Federal Minister directed to devise daily or weekly monitoring procedure to evaluate procurement targets.
He also suggested to follow directions given by ECC related to intra-provincial agreements defining the quantity and price of the wheat crop so that sharing of cost by all the provinces should be rationalized. The minister said that there is sufficient supply of wheat/flour in the country and government is also going to procure heavily in this season. He further stated that there is no need to panic as satisfactory reports have been given by respected food ministers and representatives of food departments regarding supply of flour/wheat in all provinces.
Punjab and Sindh will start public procurement from 25th March, 2020 subject to weather conditions. The procurement is to be done on first come first serve principle. It was decided to conduct another meeting in the 1st week of April to review arrangements made by all provinces, to assure their procurement position. It was also suggested to restrict intra district movement of wheat crop and to ban private sector from procurement until the public sector procurement target is achieved.
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