Byline: Imran Mukhtar
ISLAMABAD -- A day after protest of the opposition in the Senate over wheat flour crisis in the country, the government on Tuesday informed the house that the 'artificial' crisis of flour would be over soon as the country has enough wheat reserves and there was only disturbance in supply chain of food staple.
Federal Minister for National Food Security Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar told the house that the country has stocks of wheat in excess till the new wheat crop arrives in the market. 'I can say with responsibility that there is no crisis of wheat in the country right now,' he said. He said that the crisis would be over in the next few days as the supply of wheat to two provinces- Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa- has been improved.
'The country has 4 million tons of wheat in public sector reserves and we will have even 0.85 million tons of stock at the end when the new crop arrives in the market. Punjab had stored 4.8 million tons and Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco) 2 million tons of wheat in public sector last year. While Sindh had informed the centre about estimated reserves of 8 million tons of wheat,' he continued, adding that Sindh provincial food department did not buy a single grain of wheat last year and it turned out later that it has 0.7 million tons of food staple in stock instead of 0.8 million tons.
Bakhtiar further informed the house that the federal government had allocated 0.4 million tons of wheat to Sindh and 0.45 million tons to KP from the reserves of Passco and both were lifting wheat as per schedule but the supply chain disturbed due to strike of goods' transporters, especially in Sindh. Now supplies of wheat to Sindh and KP have resumed as usual causing decrease in the per kg price of wheat flour.
Furthermore, the minister said that Punjab government had...