ISLAMABAD-   The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Thursday has granted approval for the import of 340,000 (MT) Metric Tonnes of wheat and decided that the imported quantities would be distributed amongst the three parties i.e Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation (PASSCO), Punjab and KP in proportion to what they have ordered/ demanded.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet through video link from Lahore. The ECC considered the summary moved by Ministry of National Food Security and Research on the “Status of Wheat Import through Trade Corporation of Pakistan”. ECC was briefed that, the fifth tender was issued on 9th October 2020 for the procurement of wheat. It was opened on 14-10-2020 and according to TCP 6 parties participated in the bidding process.

Keeping in view the offers received, the MoFSR (Ministry of National Food Security & Research) requested ECC for the approval of the lowest bid offer by M/s GTCS for quantity of 340,000 MT of imported wheat and the permission to distribute the imported quantities equally among 3 recipient agencies i.e PASSCO, Punjab and KP. They also requested for in principal approval for procuring additional quantity from Russia by Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP). ECC granted approval for the import of 340,000 MT of wheat and decided that the imported quantities shall be distributed amongst the three parties i.e PASSCO, Punjab and KP in proportion to what they have ordered/ demanded. ECC also granted approval in principal for the import of wheat from Russia by TCP, for which a detailed summary regarding the fresh offer from the Russian Government along with quantities will be presented before ECC for approval. MoFSR briefed the ECC that, so far, the Ministry has 0.57 million tonnes of imported wheat. The Ministry further briefed that the TCP has provided a schedule of 29 vessels that will arrive till January 2021, bringing it to 1.5 Million Metric Tonne (MMT) of wheat in the country. The Ministry assured the Forum that they have been making their best efforts to overcome any future shortage of wheat in the country. The ECC met consecutive second day on Thursday to consider the issue of wheat, which prices are increasing in the country. Earlier, on Wednesday, the ECC could not take a decision on proposed 25 per cent increase in minimum support price (MSP) for the upcoming wheat crop. MoFSR has proposed for increasing support price from the previous Rs1,400 to Rs1,745 per 40 kg for the upcoming wheat crop. However, the ECC did not take the decision on MSP and decided to defer the matter for a special meeting to be convened on Monday for a dedicated discussion.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Adviser for Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood Khan, SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar and Minister for Privatisation Mohammad Mian Soomro.