March 10, 2020: A meeting of Wheat Review Committee was held yesterday under the Chairmanship of Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar which decided to recommend to the ECC to increase Minimum Support Price (MSP) of wheat crop 2019-20 from Rs. 1365 per 40 kg at Rs. 1400 per 40 kg.
The meeting was attended by Federal & Provincial Secretaries, representatives of PFMA, PASSCO, wheat exporters and senior officials of the Ministry of NFS&R. The committee expressed satisfaction that there is a sufficient quantity of wheat stock available in the country to meet the needs of the population.
It was informed that a stock of 2.235 million tons is available as on 6th March 2020. Deliberating on the steps for wheat procurement, it was apprised that Sindh will start wheat procurement process from 15th March, whereas Punjab is expected to begin procuring in April.
The committee decided to recommend to allow KP to procure wheat from adjoining districts of Punjab province. The committee asked the provinces and PASSCO to timely procure wheat target of 8.25 Million tons including 1.80 MMT by PASSCO, 4.50 MMT by Punjab, 1.40 MMT by Sindh, 0.45 MMT by KP and 0.10 MMT by Baluchistan.
The committee recommended banning supply of wheat to the poultry industry for feeding purposes to maintain sufficient wheat stock for human consumption. The committee also recommended that SBP may be asked to facilitate flour millers in financial matters in terms of procurement of wheat.
In a presentation given by the metrology department, it was informed that expected inclement weather at the end of March is likely to adversely affect the standing wheat crop, especially in central Punjab. The Minister called for launching an awareness campaign so that farmers could take timely measures in this regard.
The Minister directed that PSQCA standardized wheat bags should be used to reduce the wastage of wheat during transportation. The Minister said that the government was taking measures to prevent hoarding of wheat in order to discourage profiteering.