Aleem Khan flays Sindh govt for raising wheat support price
Punjab Food Minister Abdul Aleem Khan has said that the decision of Sindh government to increase the price of wheat up to Rs 2,000 per 40 kilogram is unwise as it will not only create imbalance in the market but also increase flour price sharply.
In a statement issued here on Monday, he said that this move of Sindh government would increase the role of middle man in the market and besides inflation, it would not be possible for farmers to cultivate any other crop other than wheat. He said that it was important to keep the prices of wheat in line with the global market and if the prices were high then wheat could not be exported and would remain surplus in country.
Abdul Aleem Khan said that the Punjab government has recommended a price of Rs 1600 to 1700 per 40kg of wheat which is realistic. He said that the provincial government is providing wheat to flour mills at Rs 1475 per 40kg after which a 20 kg bag of flour is being given at Rs 860. He questioned that if wheat is purchased at Rs 2000 per 40kg then the flour will not be in the access of common man.
The Food Minister pointed out that Punjab government was indebted to the tune of Rs 450 billion for subsidy on wheat and monthly a heavy amount is being spent in this regard. He said that the Sindh government had also shown negligence and incompetence earlier in releasing wheat to the flour mills on time and now another inappropriate step has been taken by fixing the price of wheat at Rs 2,000 per 40kg. This decision should be reconsidered as no Government can afford such expensive wheat, he concluded.