Call to export stored wheat to central Asian markets
PESHAWAR – Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry Director Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi has said that due to lack of effective export policies the existing stock of 9.7 million tons of wheat would get expired in store houses while India has occupied the central Asia market by exporting 15 thousand tons of wheat through Chabahar port to Afghanistan.
In a statement, Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi said that the trade under new Afghan transit trade agreement has already suffered between Pakistan and Afghanistan due to which 70 percent exports have been diverted through Chabahar and Bandar Abbas ports of Iran.
He added that Pakistan exports, which had got space in central Asian market, got badly affected due to lack of export mechanism from Pakistan side. He said that currently Punjab has stock of 5.8 million tons wheat, Sindh 1.7 million tons, PASSCO 1.8 lac ton, KP 3 lac ton and Balochistan has 1 lac tons wheat, which must be exported to central Asian states and Afghanistan.
He said that storage capacity is also not satisfactory and most of this quantity lies in bags and some is in open spaces. He informed that in terms of storage capacity Punjab has 3.5 million tons storage capacity, PASSCO and Sindh have 1.5 million tons storage capacity while KP has the storage capacity of only 1 lac tons.
He said that total production of wheat in the country is 23.5 million tons while per person consumption is 124 kilogram per year. He said that there are only four months in the arrival of new wheat stock while the carrying forward facility in the country up to the new season would be only six million tons.
He said that despite of the presence of huge quantity of wheat in Pakistan, India is occupying decades old market of Pakistan in central Asian market which is matter of grave concern for commerce ministry.