–Fakhar Imam says it’s the responsibility of provinces to identify cartelisation
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz on Monday said the Sindh government was responsible for the present rise in flour prices as it was not releasing its share of wheat in the market.
Addressing a press conference along with Minister for Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, the minister said that an impression was being given in the market that flour prices were rising.
The minister said Punjab and Sindh had higher wheat production but the Sindh government had created a situation that was forcing the people of the province to buy expensive wheat. He said in the past, some people made illicit profiteering by such tactics and nurtured the system of sucking the blood of the people. The profiteers were trying to discredit the government, he said, adding that those responsible for artificial shortages would be dealt with severely.
He said most of the people in rural Sindh suffered from malnutrition as the Sindh government did nothing for the well-being of its people. He said the rains in Karachi had also exposed the poor performance of the Sindh government.
He said the Pakistan People’s Party had pushed the innocent people of province into the swamp of poverty with its pathetic policies.
The petroleum prices rose in Pakistan due to upward trend in the international market, he said adding that the situation had not returned to normalcy yet in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing the press, Fakhar Imam said that it was the responsibility of the provinces to identify cartelisation.
Imam said that the government has written two letters in this regard to the provincial government of Sindh but it is not releasing wheat. He said the government has procured 6.6 million tonnes of wheat this year which is 2.6m tonnes more than last year. He said that Pakistan is the eighth largest producer of wheat in the world.
He said the people of Sindh are facing difficulties due to non-release of wheat from the provincial government while a 20-kg bag of flour is available at Rs860 in Punjab province.
Imam said that there is cartelization and hoarding in Pakistan. He said he did not understand why the Sindh government wants to create a wheat crisis. The country produced more wheat than the target.
The food minister said that if the Sindh government releases wheat, the price will go down significantly. The federation and the provinces are working hard to ensure that there are no complaints about wheat and flour. Wheat will be provided to the common man at the right price, he claimed.
Imam said that all the provinces should cooperate with one another and the federal ministry will ensure easy supply of wheat in the country. The Federal Ministry is providing facilities to private sector importers to ensure proper and timely import of wheat.