January 22, 2020: With timely intervention by the government, the prices of wheat and wheat flour have started coming down in the local markets all across the country, particularly in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The prices of wheat flour declined by Rs. 6 per kg in Sindh and Rs. 2 per kg in the markets of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces since Tuesday, said Food Security Commissioner in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research Dr. Imtiaz Ali Gopang.
''The situation would further improve as the supply had gained momentum and prices of the commodity would further came down to pre-crisis level in next couple of days'', he said on Wednesday.
He said that a helpline had also been established at Prime Minister Office to monitor the demand and supply situation, adding the provincial departments had been asked to submit report on daily basis.
Over 4.144 million tons of wheat stocks were available in the country, he said adding Punjab had 2.519 million tons, Sindh 0.416 million tons, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 0.0113 million tons and Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Supply Corporation (PASSCO) had wheat reserves of 1.204 million tons till today.
The Food Security Commissioner informed that Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet had directed the PASSCO to provide 400,000 tons of wheat to Sindh, 450,000 tons to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 50,000 tons to Balochistan from its stocks in order to keep the supply smooth and ensure adequate provision of flour in the markets.
The provinces have already lifted about 400,000 tons of wheat out of allocated stocks and there were 700,000 tons of more wheat which was available for them, he said adding that inter-provincial movement of grains form Punjab to KP was also relaxed that was helping in smoothing demand and supply situations in the province.
Replaying to a question regarding the government's decision to import 300,000 tons wheat, he said that cutoff date for the import was fixed at March 31 and after the date import would not be allowed.
The imported wheat will be used as buffer stocks, he said adding that during the last season about 1.2 million tons wheat output was affected due to rains in harvesting time.
Looking into the climate changes and other factors, he said that government has also decided to increase its procurement targets from 6 million tons to 8 million tons for keeping the strategic reserves in the country.