ISLAMABAD-National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce on Monday demanded government to fix support price of wheat and to announce maximum incentives for local growers to get rid of wheat crisis. 

The meeting of the Standing Committee on Commerce under the Chairmanship of Syed Naveed Qamar was held yesterday in the Parliament House.

The Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Food Security & Research briefed the Committee on import/exports of wheat and informed that the cabinet has approved import of 1.5 million MT (Metric Tonne) of wheat by Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) on the recommendation of the Ministry of Food Security & Research to meet the demand in the country, which will be provided to Punjab, PASSCO and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 

The TCP has awarded contracts to import wheat at $233.85 per MT which will arrive between October 2020 to January 2021. The Ministry informed that tenders floated by TCP for import of wheat on 15th September 2020 were scrapped due to high rates. 

The Ministries updated Committee on Wheat Stocks, progress on import of wheat by private sector and through TCP and pricing trend in the local market.

Committee chairman has pointed out some serious mismanagement in prior planning of wheat imports, causing not only shortage of wheat in the country but also huge hike in price of flour. 

Syed Naveed Qamar directed the Ministry of Food Security to take immediate steps to address the perception of shortage of wheat in the coming months. The Committee observed that the price of wheat in the market is higher than the imported rate or landed price. 

The Committee also observed that benefit of subsidy is going to foreign farmers in shape of import of wheat at higher rates. The Committee demanded the Government to fix support price of wheat and announce maximum incentives to local growers to get rid of wheat crisis. 

The Chair directed the Ministry of Food Security & Research and Trade Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to update the Committee on all the measure taken to address the wheat crisis and communicate the plan before the committee in 7 days. The Committee deferred “The Safeguard Measures (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on the absence of the mover Mr. Muhammad Sanaullah Khan Masti Khal, MNA.

The meeting was attended by MNAs Mr. Muhammad Yaqoob Shaikh, Mr. Khurram Shehzad, Mian Muhammad Shafiq, Ms. Wajiha Akram, Ms. Farukh Khan MNA,Rana Iradat Shareef Khan, Ms. Sajida Begum,Ms. Tahira Aurangzeb, Ms. Shaista Pervaiz, Syed Javed Shah Jilani and Mr. Usman Ibrahim.