ISLAMABAD-The government is likely to take a decision on increasing the minimum support price of wheat for the upcoming crop in next week.

The special meeting of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet is scheduled on Monday to take the decision regarding increasing minimum support price for wheat. In last week, the top economic decisions making body of the country, the ECC, had failed to take any decision in this regard and summoned special meeting tomorrow (Monday). 

The ministry of National Food Security and Research has proposed to increase the price by 25 percent. The ministry in its summary has proposed for increasing support price from the previous Rs1,400 to Rs1,745 per 40 kg for the upcoming wheat crop. However, some members of the ECC had opposed the increase due to its inflationary impact in the country. They were of the view that inflation is already on the higher side and increasing minimum support price for wheat by 25 percent would further fuel the inflation rate. 

It is worth mentioning here that ECC had increased the minimum support price for wheat to Rs1400 per 40 kg for the last year to ensure parity in wheat prices throughout the country. The ECC had increased the wheat support price to Rs1400 per 40 kg in different phases. Earlier, the ECC in November 2019 had fixed the wheat support price at Rs1350 per 40 kg first, which was later upward revised to Rs1365 per 40 kg in the same month. In March, it had enhanced the support price of wheat for wheat crop 2019-20 from Rs1365 per 40 kg to the level of Rs 1400 per 40 kg. 

However, despite increasing wheat support price, the flour prices had increased by almost 55 to 60pc over the past year. The flour prices increased even the government had been allowing tax- and duty-free wheat imports both through public and private sectors. The wheat flour prices are continuously increasing despite the fact that the government is importing wheat from other countries.

The ECC on Thursday granted approval for the import of 340,000 MT of wheat and decided that the imported quantities would be distributed amongst the three parties’ i.e PASSCO, Punjab and KP in proportion to what they have ordered/demanded. Keeping in view the offers received, the MNFS&R 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 approval, in principal, for procuring additional quantity from Russia by TCP.

Modern agricultural technology can increase wheat production,

 says Fakhar Imam

APP adds: Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam said on Saturday that per acre wheat production can be increased by adopting modern agricultural technology.

Talking to PTV news, he said expanding the areas of cultivable lands and more investment in rural areas is essential for agricultural growth in the country.

He further said despite the impediments due to 18th Amendment, the Ministry of National Food Security is devising short, medium and long term policies to achieve the desired goals in minimum period. He said Pakistan is still self-sufficient in production of essential food commodities despite rapid growth in population during 73 years.