KARACHI - Government of Sindh on Thursday increased the minimum wheat procurement price to 2,000 rupees per 40 kilogrammes.

According to details, Sindh cabinet meeting has decided to increase the support price in order to avoid shortage of wheat next year. Ministers said the increase was necessary to avoid importing next year. On the other hand, Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) Monday set the minimum wheat procurement price to 1,600 rupees from Rs1,400 to Rs1,600 per 40 kg – an increase of Rs200 or 14.3%.

The cabinet also approved sugarcane support price at Rs202 per 40 kg and the crushing season would start from November. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at CM House on Thursday. The meeting was attended by all provincial ministers, advisors, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, provincial secretaries and other officers.

The first and important agenda of the meeting was fixation of the support price of wheat and sugarcane. The cabinet members said that it was a high time to fix support of wheat to encourage the growers for cultivating wheat in a great quantity.

The cabinet members said that the wheat had recently been imported from Ukraine which has finally landed in Sindh at around Rs5000 per 40 kg though it was not of such a good quality as was being grown here.

It was pointed out that the country was spending foreign exchange on import of wheat but we were not ready to incentivise our growers so that they grew more wheat for local consumption and export.

Proposal comes two days after ECC endorsed Rs1,600 as minimum procurement price

The agriculture department told the cabinet that the Punjab and Balochistan had proposed to fix maximum wheat procurement support price at Rs1,700 per 40 kg while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had proposed Rs1,880 per 40 kg.

The cabinet members unanimously decided to fix wheat procurement minimum support price at Rs2,000 per 40 kg. “This decision at this time when wheat plantation season, from November 21 to December 15, is approaching, therefore the grower would prefer to grow more wheat because of its good price,” the Chief Minister said and added being agricultural country we should formulate such policies under which we not only ensure our food security but export grain to earn foreign exchange.

The Sindh Cabinet taking another important decision fixed the minimum sugarcane price at Rs202 per 40 kg plus Rs0.50 9fity paisa) quality premium. The cabinet also directed the Agriculture department to ensure the starting of the crushing season from November 30.

The cabinet was told that the Minister agriculture had held a meeting of the Sugarcane Control Board on Oct 20, 2020 which was attended by all the sugar mill representatives. 

 

 

In the meeting the growers had demanded to increase the purchase price of sugarcane as the prices of inputs had increased considerably. They said, therefore the production cost of sugarcane had increased.

 

The meeting was told that during 2019-20 the Sindh government had notified sugarcane price at Rs192 per 40 kg. It was also pointed out that the Punjab government had notified RS200 per 40 kg minimum sugarcane price.

The cabinet realizing the sugarcane production cost decided to fix the minimum sugarcane purchase price at Rs202 per 40 kg and also approved the rate of quality premium at Rs0.50 (fifty paisa) per 40 kg.

 

 

Heritage

 

 

The cabinet was told that Sir Cowasjee Jehangir (C.J) Institute of Psychiatry, Hyderabad was established over an area of 27.22 acres at Deh Gidu, Taluka Hyderabad in 1939-40. The cabinet after thorough discussion approved to declare the building as Protected Heritage under Sindh Cultural Heritage (Preservation) Act, 1994.

The culture department presented another item under which the Heritage Committee had approved construction of a building within the compound of Homie Katrak Chamber, situated on Abdullah Haroon Road, Hoshang Road, Karachi.

The cabinet was shown photographs of the proposed high rise building to be constructed within the old compound walls of Homie Katrak Chamber. The cabinet members observed that the construction of the new high-rise building within the old compound walls of the chamber would overshadow the old heritage. Therefore, the cabinet members referred the proposal back to the Heritage Committee to reconsider its approval/project. The cabinet also accorded post facto approval of the Rules framed under Sindh Cultural Heritage (Preservation) Act 1994.

Narcotics Act: The Minister Excise, Taxation & Narcotics Control Department told the cabinet that in the Control of Narcotics Substance Act 1997 the drugs were defined in detail with complete explanation of their usage, carrying, making, selling, purchasing and consumption which made it applicable to the defined catalogue only.

The cabinet was told that Neurotoxin Synthetic drugs which included Ice, Meth and Crystal (Methamphetamine) and Ecstasy and Molly (Midomafetamine) used as recreational/addictive psychoactive drugs were not defined in the law, hence no punishment was awarded in trial courts.

The punishment for drug related crimes in the law were also assigned as per quantity whereas severity of addiction and harm was not considered and drugs line Cannabis and Heroin were treated in the same category.

 

 

The Excise department requested the cabinet to approve amendment in the Control of Narcotics Substance Act, 1997 by inserting undefined rugs and rigorous punishment for the offence.

The cabinet after discussing the proposed draft amendments approved them and referred them to the provincial assembly. The cabinet on the request of the Transport & MassTransit department rectified minutes of its meeting held on August 20, 2020 regarding exemption of Government Fee upto 50 percent on the route permits fee and motor vehicle fitness fees.