No wheat crisis, Centre has ample stock, says Tariq Bashir Cheema
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Federal Food Security Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema has ruled out wheat shortage reports.
“There is no wheat crisis, we have ample stock,” the federal minister said while talking about Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi's complaint about the wheat shortfall and lack of cooperation by the federation.
“We have imported commodity to overcome the shortage … the provinces are being asked to inform the federation if the federating units need wheat,” he added.
Punjab Chief Minister says his government has to import wheat. The federal cabinet has decided that wheat cannot be imported privately.
The Centre provided KP with 10,000 wheat seed sacks, the federal minister said adding that, Punjab earlier refused to join hands with the federal government but accepted later.
“We are not allowing the private sector to import wheat. It would hike the wheat price, ” he added.
The minister explained the reason behind the increase in roti price in Punjab, saying: “Roti price will go up when wheat would be sold at Rs 3600 instead of Rs2200.”
Flour price control is the responsibility of provincial governments, he said, adding that in this difficult situation, the federal government is ensuring the supply of all commodities to the provinces on its own.
Chairing a review meeting of the National Flood Response and Coordination Centre (NFRCC), Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged the provincial governments of Punjab and KP to rise above politics and join the Centre’s scheme of providing wheat seeds to farmers of inundated areas as the country grappled with the impact of the floods.
PM Shehbaz highlighted that Sindh and Balochistan had agreed to the wheat scheme but regretted that despite the federal government’s offer, Punjab and KP refused to cooperate and instead indulged in politics on the matter.