Wheat bags worth Rs7b go missing in Sindh

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As many as 168,000 metric tons of wheat bags have been reported missing from the storage facilities in Sindh. This is the biggest theft of the wheat from government’s storage facility in Sindh, which costs Rs 7 billion. According to the document, the chief secretary Sindh has handed over the matter for an inquiry to the Anti-Corruption Department.It may be noted that the Sindh government has set target of 1.4 million tons wheat procurement this year. On April 10, last year, the Anti-Corruption Establishment Sindh had revealed that wheat worth Rs620 million was sold illegally from warehouses of the Food Department in Dadu.This was disclosed when a team of the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) raided nine different warehouses of the Food Department in Dadu. The ACE team had included the assistant and deputy directors also.During the raid, the ACE team had found 0.194 million sacks of wheat worth Rs620 million missing. Moreover, Sindh Growers Alliance (SGA) has blamed the government of Sindh for causing financial losses to farmers by delaying the wheat procurement drive in several major districts and divisions of the province. The Sindh government has yet not established wheat procurement centres in several parts of the province, which has forced growers to sell their produce to exploitative traders, concerned growers informed the media. They said that despite the tall claims made by the provincial government about establishing procurement centres and fixing the price of wheat at Rs1,400/maund, growers were being exploited by the private sector traders, who were buying wheat at Rs1,150-Rs1,200/maund. Sindh Growers Alliance (SGA) President Nawab Zubair Talpur said there was no procurement centre in the entire Sukkur division, Mirpurkhas division, Matiari, Dadu, Tando Muhammad Khan and other districts, and growers in these areas were looking for these facilities to sell their product on time.