Senior Minister Punjab Abdul Aleem Khan has said that the wheat reserves of the Food Department have exceeded 4.3 million metric tons, which is a new record for the last 10 years. He was presiding over a high-level meeting of the Food Department at his office at 90 Shahra-e-Quaid-e-Azam, here today, which was also attended by Provincial Minister for Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal and Secretary Food and Industries. Detailed consideration was given to the procurement of wheat and stabilization in the market of price of flour. Senior Punjab Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said that by changing the traditional and pre-existing subsidy system, it would be introduced as a targeted subsidy for the needy and poor ones so that the common man could directly benefit from this relief.
Similarly, changes in the wheat procurement system will also be recommended to reduce the burden of billions of rupees on the Government exchequer and heavy markup, as well. He said that the huge investment made by the Government in the wheat and flour sector does not benefit the people as much as it should be so we have to create a transparent and clear mechanism to overcome the difficulties in this regard. Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan directed the officers of the Food Department to finalize as soon as possible the clear recommendations regarding the procurement of wheat and stabilization of flour prices which would be submitted to the Prime Minister Imran Khan after approval from the Punjab Chief Minister. In this meeting, Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan also gave necessary instructions on supply of wheat to other provinces, especially KPK, from Punjab.
Talking at the meeting, Industry Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal said that 48% industry in the province has been shut down due to the current situation but saving the common man from hunger is the first priority of the Government for which supply of flour at controlled price is essential. Giving a briefing, Secretary Food Waqas Ali Mahmood said that last year the Food Department had paid a hefty amount of Rs 41 billion only in markup. Secretary Industry and Director Food also briefed the meeting regarding their respective sectors.