The ECC meeting, chaired by Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, was told that the minimum support price of Rs1,300 per 40 kg had not been enhanced for the past five years.
However, in view of factors such as world wheat supply situation, cost of production, export-import parity prices and domestic producer prices, an appropriate support price for the next wheat crop was necessary.
The cost of production in the financial year 2019-20 has increased to Rs1,349.57 per 40 kg in Punjab and Rs1,315.72 per 40 kg in Sindh, according to findings of the Agriculture Policy Institute. Apart from that, world wheat prices were hovering around Rs1,575 per 40 kg including duties and Rs1,440 without duties.
Keeping these in view, the ECC decided to enhance the minimum support price for the next wheat crop to Rs1,350 per 40 kg.
The ECC also asked the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to approach provinces well in time in order to push them to make adequate wheat purchases in the coming season. If the provinces failed to meet the goal, then any request from them for the release of wheat from Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco) stocks would result in 100% payment of incidental charges.
The ECC suggested that chief secretaries of the provinces or their representatives should be invited to the next ECC meeting. It directed the Ministry of Finance to give a detailed presentation on the rising debt level due to the commodity operation as it had already crossed Rs450 billion.
The ECC also considered a set of proposals from the Petroleum Division about the provision of utilities, particularly gas connections, to the Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
The ECC constituted a committee after discussing various proposals for the supply of...