ISLAMABAD -- The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet had given a go-ahead for release of 650,000 tonnes of wheat from PASSCO stocks to the provincial governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Sindh and Balochistan to ease out the demand and supply equilibrium in the local market.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the ECC held on Wednesday at the Cabinet Block with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the Chair, said a press release. The ECC took up the wheat situation in the country, particularly the rising trend in wheat prices, and approved a proposal by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research for release of 300,000 tonnes each to governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh and 50,000 tonnes to the government of Balochistan. The ECC also approved an amount of Rs 2.745 billion to be paid as PASSCO incidental charges at the ratio of 50:50 to be equally shared by the federal and respective provincial governments.
The latest release follows an earlier release of 250,000 tonnes of wheat to the governments of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (100,000 tonnes for Sindh and 150,000 tonnes to KP) from PASSCO stocks on the directives of ECC's meeting on 2nd October 2019. The PASSCO incidental charges for the previous release had also been shared at the ratio of 50:50 equally by the federal and respective provincial governments.
In its meeting held today, the ECC was informed by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research that the PASSCO and Provincial Food Departments had reported their stocks at the level of 6.444 million tonnes as compared to 10.093 million tonnes of the corresponding period of the last year.
However, despite the fact that the total availability of wheat was estimated at the level of 28.256 million tonnes, including the leftover stock of 3.777 million tons as compared to the national requirement of 26.91 million tons of the country, the prices of wheat and flour still showed upward trend in the local market, the ECC was told.
Taking up other agenda items, the ECC also considered two separate proposals submitted by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs for payment of different outstanding amounts by WAPDA and Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to the Port Qasim Authority and constituted a committee under Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Muhammad Hammad Azhar to resolve the issue.
Earlier, the ECC was told that WAPDA owed an amount of Rs 1.076 billion to Karachi...