Federal minister directs scaling up wheat, sugar imports
KARACHI: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin asked the ministries concerned to accelerate wheat and sugar imports and ensure that sufficient stocks are available for a smooth supply during the current financial year.
He also urged the ministries concerned and Trade Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to exercise due diligence and take appropriate measures for risk hedging, while floating tenders in international market.
The finance minister urged the representatives of the provincial governments to take corrective measures for reducing price differential between farm and retail prices. He emphasised the need to review the entire food value chain and ensure that the farmers get a commensurate share of market value of their produce.
He said this while holding a meeting with Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam and special assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Food Security Jamshed Cheema to review the price trend of essential commodities.
SAPM on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, secretary finance division, secretary ministry of industries and production, secretary ministry of national food security research, provincial chief secretaries and other senior officers attended the meeting.
SAPM on Food Security Jamshed Cheema briefed the finance minister on building strategic reserves of essential commodities including wheat, sugar, pulses, edible oil and ghee, tomatoes, onion, garlic and chicken to prevent hoarding and undue profiteering.
He stated that farmers must follow the international best practices and look into alternative options for perishable commodities like Tomato, onion powder, garlic powder and others to meet peak demand due to seasonal variations. This will offer cost-effective products for consumers as well.
The underlying rationale is to stabilize prices of daily use items. The government will build the strategic reserves by importing 10-20 per cent of the total consumption of the staple food items and supply into the market when needed in order to bridge the supply and demand gap. This will check the price fluctuation effectively.
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