PPA wants to buy wheat from government

Asks that it be sold at prevailing international rate


Peer Muhammad February 03, 2016
PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) has asked the government, which is dealing with surplus stock of the commodity, to provide it with 40,000 tons of wheat at the price prevailing in the international market.

In a letter addressed to the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, the PPA said the wheat should be provided at the rate of Rs1,100 per 40kg - the price in the international market --- and not at the support price fixed by the government, which is Rs1,300 per 40kg. The PPA said it needed the commodity to produce poultry feed.

An officer in the ministry shared that so far no decision has been taken in this regard, adding that the ministry will call a meeting of all stakeholders, including the Ministry of Finance, to discuss the issue and would write to the Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation (PASSCO) for its comments.

The officer said that the demand appears to be rational. “We have surplus stock of wheat and want to dispose it off before the arrival of new crops by April,” the officer explained. According to statistics, the current wheat stock in Pakistan stands at around 7 million tons, compared to 6 million tons reported in the corresponding period last year. Alongside, surplus produce of wheat is expected during 2015-16 because of better water availability and affordable price of fertiliser due to government subsidy.

Besides granting permission to the exporters to export wheat, the government offered subsidy on exports and the deadline has been extended till March.

Meanwhile, due to low international price, the government of Punjab and Sindh could only manage to export of 232,000 tons and 94,000 tons of wheat so far.

The Punjab government and the commerce ministry were against the extension of the export subsidy deadline because of the apprehension that actual export may not take place and the subsidised wheat may be offered in the local market. Nonetheless, the government extended the deadline on the insistence of food ministry and Sindh government.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 3rd, 2016.

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