No wheat crisis this year, NA panel told

Commerce ministry officials say 0.3m tons of wheat will reach Pakistan in August


Our Correspondent May 07, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

The National Assembly's Standing Committee on Commerce has been informed by the Ministry of National Food Security that there will be no wheat crisis in Pakistan this year.

“A tender has been issued for 300,000 tonnes of wheat, which will reach Pakistan in August,” the commerce ministry officials said during the NA standing committee meeting, chaired by MNA Naveed Qamar on Thursday.

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research briefed the meeting on import of wheat and its demand.

The Ministry of National Food Security secretary said that there would be no wheat crisis in Pakistan this year.

Read: ‘76% wheat procurement target achieved’

The committee chairman asked if there is no crisis then why wheat is being imported.

The secretary said that the wheat production target has been set at 27 million tons this year.

“Pakistan needs to import three million tons of wheat to meet the demand of 29.27 million tons.”

The committee members complained about bad flour in the markets, saying that it occurred as the wheat stores in godowns was spoiled.

They said, “Won’t people get sick by consuming bad flour?”

They added that there is bad flour in Islamabad, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab

The Ministry of Agricultural Research said, “If there is such flour, it will be identified and action will be taken.”

Committee member MNA Sajida Begum said that it is so wrong to ask “us the reason behind wheat being spoiled”.

“If they don't know [the reason], I will bring the wheat to their office and make bread and give it to them,” she said, adding that substandard wheat is available in the market.

Read more: Govt decides to import 4m MT of wheat

She said that taking action is the responsibility of the department.

Committee member MNA Tahira Aurangzeb asked the Ministry of National Food Security to state which flour mills had been inspected till date.

The food ministry’s secretary said, “Our job is to coordinate, inspection is the job of the provincial governments.”

MNA Tahira replied, “Accusing others is what happens in Pakistan.”

The Ministry of National Food Security said it was its responsibility to stockpile food for a year.

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