Former food secretary tells how wheat mafia operates in Punjab

Naseem Sadiq says food mafia being protected, PM Imran Khan being misguided

By: News Desk      Published: 08:51 PM, 10 Apr, 2020
Former food secretary tells how wheat mafia operates in Punjab
Former food secretary Naseem Sadiq.–File photo

Punjab’s former food secretary Naseem Sadiq has called upon the government to set up a judicial commission to investigate the flour crisis in the province.

In a letter to Punjab Chief Secretary Azam Suleman Khan, Naseem Sadiq has said the flour mafia in Punjab is being protected and the wheat export, rebate and subsidy process is marred by corruption. He said he served as Punjab food secretary for two months and two days. He said that wheat procurement campaign of the provincial government had already begun when he took charge of his office as food secretary. He said he came to know about multiple scandals after the wheat procurement campaign, but he was transferred when he ordered investigation into those scandals.

Naseem Sadiq has written in his letter that there is no link between the government’s wheat procurement campaign and flour shortage. He said the government never ever achieved the target of four million metric tonne wheat procurement. He said the food department under him performed well despite the fact that wheat produce remained less than the expected. He said the Punjab cabinet decided to open the distribution of gunny bags and this decision was implemented.

The former food secretary said the decision to supply wheat to feed mills was taken before he joined the food department as secretary and he had documentary evidence of this. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan was being misguided. He said that two members of the inquiry committed continued to pressurise him for allotment of houses in Dera Ghazi Khan.

Naseem Sadiq was serving as Dera Ghazi Khan commissioner and he volunteered to leave the position after the investigation report on the flour crisis was made public. His application was accepted.