Senior Minister Punjab Abdul Aleem Khan has said that farmers in Punjab have received the best return for their labor this year and the Government has ensured purchase of wheat at good prices.
He was presiding over a high level meeting held at the Chief Secretary’s Camp Office in Lahore today which was attended by Provincial Ministers Mian Aslam Iqbal and Noman Ahmed Langarial besides Chief Secretary Punjab, Secretary Food and concerned officers.
He said that flour prices have risen due to better prices of wheat to farmers but the Government’s entire focus is on stabilizing these prices in the market, for which an integrated strategy is being worked out.
He said that import of wheat would also be allowed this year as it would help in differentiation of other provinces and less cultivation of crop in northern districts of Punjab.
He said that import of wheat has to stabilize the prices in the market and create competitive and healthy environment.
He said that on the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan, a new policy was being formulated for the procurement of wheat at the Government level so as to reduce the financial burden on the public exchequer.
He said that the new policy was aimed at providing targeted subsidy and getting rid of heavy bank loans.
Senior Punjab Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said that the new recommendations on wheat procurement would be submitted to the Punjab Cabinet for final approval so that the Food Department can be re-established on modern lines in the province. He said that under this policy, wheat will be procured at the Government level only for a limited stock while flour mills will be allowed to procure wheat themselves through the open market.
The meeting was presented with two models for procurement of wheat at the Government level while recommendations for a new procurement policy were also put forward. The meeting was informed that Punjab currently has 4.3 million metric tons of wheat at the Government level and there is no danger of shortage.