ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Sunday sought a complete ban on import of wheat as the country is already producing a surplus for many years.

Surplus wheat should not be left to rot but distributed among the poor at subsidised prices, said ICST Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt. He said that country has already surplus stock and all efforts to export it have backfired due to its high price; therefore, wheat imports should be banned, he said. The surplus stock could not be sold in the international market due to low prices despite the frequent extension of dates and upward revision in the export rebate, he noted. He said that high support price has increased production of wheat but its prices have remained the same since then which if reduced will increase consumption.

Lower domestic prices will reduce pressure on stocks and provide relief to masses while easing pressure on the central bank, he said.