KARACHI - Despite repeated instructions by Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, the Punjab government has not opened its borders with Sindh for allowing free movement of wheat to avert anticipating crisis of commodity in the province. Usually, the traders and flour millers used to enjoy free access to commodity in Punjab but this time, the Punjab govt imposing section 144, has banned the transportation of wheat outside of its borders which caused shortage of the commodity in the Sindh province. Mir Nadir Ali Khan Magsi, Provincial Minister for Food Department of Sindh Government informed this to the Sindh Assembly on Monday. A question asked by Arif Mustafa Jatoi, a member from opposition benches, regarding the quantity of wheat required to the food department of Sindh from the Federal government along with its expected date and point of arrival of origin-local or imported-up to next procurement season, Minister said that Sindh expected to receive total quantity of 115,000 tons wheat from Punjab and Federal government. Sindh to receive 10,000 tons wheat from Passco, 20,000 tons from Punjab govt, 70,000m tons from Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) and 15000 m tons from World Food Programme of United Nation, while all these stocks are expected to arrive till April 2009 of this season. Sindh has demanded for 100,000 tons wheat but Punjab has not responded positively, Minster said admitting that the wheat imported form Ukraine was of substandard and not fit for human consumption. Nadir Magsi said the Federal government has given assurance about the quality of wheat being imported from the US. Answering to supplementary questions raised by MPAs Bachal Shah, Dr. Ahmed Ali Shah and others, Minister for Food disclosed that Sindh govt has already requested the Minfal of federal government in writing that the imported wheat must be given to Sindh at Karachi Port either the transportation expenditures should be borne by the central govt. Minister calculated that due to transportation of imported wheat from Gwadar Port, Sindh bears Rs255 extra on per bag of wheat while Sindh will spend Rs1.8 million extra only on transportation on wheat. Replying to questions raised by various members pertaining to the prices of imported and other wheat being purchased from TCP and Punjab government, Magsi said that Sindh will pay Rs750/40kg on imported wheat while transportation expenditures are excluded from it. It may be noted here that the government had procured the wheat on official support price of Rs625/40kg in current season. Giving the reason about anticipating crisis of wheat in the Sindh province, Minister Food said that Prime Minster Gilani repeatedly instructed for lifting of ban on inter-provincial movement of wheat but Punjab government has not implemented the directions of the PM so far. Replying to another question, minister announced that his department would not allow the free movement of wheat especially to Punjab during next crop season which is expected to be in market in upcoming April. He said Food Department imposing section 144 will procure the wheat from the growers of the province, hoping that department will achieve the procurement target of 0.7m tons of wheat in next season as the total storage capacity in the warehouse of govt was 0.7m tons.