ISLAMABAD    -   The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Friday approved minimum support-price for the wheat crop as 1650 rupees per 40 kg. 

The decision was taken at ECC meeting which met in Islamabad on Friday with Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the chair. The meeting maintained the current release price at Rs1475 per 40-Kilogrames.

Earlier, the ECC had decided to propose to the federal cabinet to fix the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat crop 2020-2021 at Rs1600 per 40 kg. Later, the ECC had also approved the “PM’s Package for Rabi Crops-Specially Wheat”.

After due deliberation, ECC on Friday took key decisions with reference to demand and supply of wheat to stabilise local market and to reduce the wheat flour prices across the country.

As directed by the Prime Minister, a Coordination Committee was constituted to deal with import of wheat and its logistics and distribution to the recipient agencies. The Committee will be chaired by the Adviser Finance and would include Advisor to the PM for Institutional Reforms & Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain, Minister for Industries and Production Mr. Hammad Azhar, SAPM on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam and Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr. Reza Baqir. It would also include Secretaries Finance, NFS&R, Communications, Commerce, Maritime Affairs, Railways and Chief Secretaries of Balochistan, KPK, Punjab and Sindh for smooth coordination. 

After thorough consultation, ECC also approved grinding ratio of wheat at the base level of 70:30. It was further decided that ratio for the refined varieties of wheat flour would be decided by the Coordination Committee later.

The ECC also approved aggregate release of wheat @38,000 MT per day to the flour mills. Representatives of all the Provincial Governments were on board. This included 25,000 MT by Punjab, 8,000 MT by Sindh, 4,000 MT by KPK and 1,000 MT by Balochistan.

ECC also approved the request by the Government of Punjab to provide additional 0.7 MMT of wheat, out of which 0.4 MMT of wheat will be imported by TCP for Punjab. Lastly, technical supplementary grant for the settlement of outstanding dues of non-litigant retired employees of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) amounting to Rs.11.680 billion was also approved by the ECC.

Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood, SAPM on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and Advisor to the PM for Institutional Reforms & Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain attended the ECC. Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr. Reza Baqir and Provincial Chief Secretaries also participated through video link.