KARACHI - The food departments of the provinces and Passco are set to borrow a huge amount of about Rs60 billion from the banks to buy wheat, The Nation learnt on Friday. To meet the target of purchasing 6.20 million tons of wheat this year, the Food Departments of Punjab, Passco, Sindh Food Department and NWFP Food Department would have to line-up Rs 60 billion credit from the banks, said sources. The Punjab Food Department would have to spend more than Rs 30 billion in case the department achieves the target of purchasing 3.50 million tons this year. For this season the federal government has fixed the target of making procurement of 6.50 million tons of wheat throughout the country. The Federal Agriculture Committee of Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock had given 3.5 million tons wheat procurement target to Punjab, 1.2 million tons to Sindh and 1.5 million tons procurement target to Passco for current Rabi season FY2008-09. Meanwhile, the Federal government had also directed the NWFP government to procure 0.3 million tons wheat while Balochistan would buy 50,000 tons wheat. A chain of wheat procurement centres had already been established all over the country especially in Punjab and Sindh where the procurement drive is in full swing, said sources. Violating the instructions of the Federal government for allowing free movement of the commodity in country, Punjab and Sindh governments have imposed inter-provincial ban on the movement of wheat. The officials of the government who are busy in wheat purchasing task confidently said the government would easily achieve its record wheat procurement target of 6.5 million tons in this season. According to officials, a bumper production of 25 million tons of wheat is expected this year as government had raised procurement price of the commodity to Rs950-40kg from last years official price of Rs625-40kg. In Sindh, out of 1.2 million tons target, the provincial food department has procured 0.8 million tons of wheat so far. According to senior officials, the Minfal has given 1.2 million tons of wheat procurement target to Sindh government which was double than last years procurement target of 0.6 million tons, which was difficult task but the Provincial government has accepted it and hoped that commodity will be procured above the target in this fiscal. Similarly, Punjab Food department has also geared up its efforts to achieve the 3.5 million tons wheat procurement target from the whole province. According to reports reaching here, the Punjab govt has procured about one lakh tons of wheat so far. The Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif during his recent visit of southern districts of the province, has announced enhancement of wheat target from 3.5 million tons to 4 million tons for this season FY2008-09. Meanwhile, Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco) is facing difficulties in procurement of wheat in both provinces, Punjab and Sindh, as Food Department officials already approached the growers for their commodity. The Passco has been procured above 60,000 tons in both provinces so far, which was much below the 1.5m tons target assigned to it.