Wheat crisis

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WHILST the wheat flour is in short supply in parts of the country, its price is touching record levels much to the disappointment of common man whose back has already been broken by the prices of essential commodities.

Instead of resolving the issue, it is really disappointing that the federal and provincial governments are involved in the blame game.

At a press conference on Saturday night, Balochistsan’s Food Minister Zamarak Khan Piralizai said that the food department had run out of its wheat stock.

Despite an SOS sent by the Balochistan government a day earlier, no consignment of wheat reached the province on Sunday.

The provincial minister held the governments at the Centre as well as of Sindh and Punjab responsible for this crisis.

Separately, the Minister for National Food Security Tariq Bashir Cheema while putting the burden on Punjab government stated there is no shortage of wheat in the country.

The question is if there is no shortage of wheat, then why it is not available to the people and why its price is soaring to record levels. We will request Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to personally take notice of the situation.

Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) should immediately be allowed to release the wheat stock to Balochistan as well as other areas where the shortage of wheat is being witnessed.

Smuggling and black marketing are also some of the factors behind the increase in wheat flour price.

Responsibility rests with the government to take a firm action against the hoarders who are robbing the pockets of the poor consumers besides smuggling of the commodity must also be checked through enhanced security measures at border points.

Wheat has not been cultivated in many flood affected areas of Sindh province because of which less crop is expected next year.

The government must make advance arrangements through imports to ensure it is available in sufficient quantity in the country