Governor urges Sindh govt to immediately release wheat stock

KARACHI: Sindh Governor Imran Ismail Wednesday urged the provincial government to immediately release good stock of wheat to flour mills to bring down high prices of flour in the province.

Another 40 buses for Green Line were due at Karachi Port on (Oct.14), he said.

He was addressing a press conference here at the Governor House, which was joined by Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader, Haleem Adil Shaikh, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Maritime Affairs, Mehmood Maulvi and Muzzamil Aslam, the Spokesman to the Federal Minister for Finance.

The governor said the price of a wheat bag in Punjab was Rs 1100 and in Sindh it was Rs 1400, and one kilogram of flour was being sold at Rs 55 in Punjab whereas in Sindh it priced Rs 74.

Sindh Government had decided to release new stock on 16th of this month but he feared, Pakistan Peoples Party government might not release wheat before November 2021 and that flour price might shoot to Rs 80 per Kg within next couple of days.

He questioned, why PPP government was waiting for Oct.16 when flour price was increasing exorbitantly each day and making it very difficult for the common man in the province to have meal three times a day.

“ I am afraid, Sindh shall not release wheat before November, ” he commented and rejected Sindh government’s claim of having sufficient flour stock to maintain the flour price.

“ 100 % PPP government is responsible for high flour price, ” he asserted.

He also mentioned that in Punjab chicken price was Rs 240 per Kg and in Sindh it was Rs 280.

To a question, the governor explained that PTI government was not responsible for the inflation as it was global phenomena. As a result of Covid-19, the prices of basic items including of food had increased very high throughout the world; even, the freight charges had increased .

However, he was confident, PTI government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan would soon succeed in controlling the inflation and provide maximum relief to the people, especially to the low income class.

The government was also providing relief in taxes and duties to ghee manufacturing plants so that this essential food item could be available to the people at lower price, he added.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan was very honest and committed leader, and was trying his best to uplift the nation and the country as soon as possible. PM’s vision was to reduce poverty and generate employment at the earliest, and to extend social cover to maximum population, he added.

He said the Prime Minister firmly believed in “ Riasat-e-Madina” style of governance, that was why he had taken initiatives like shelter homes, “dastarkhaan” and Ehsas programme for the poor.

However, it is taking time to clear the mess of 70 years.

Due to wrong policies and corruption in the past, the present government was facing difficult situation and had to take very hard decisions including going to International Monetary Fund, he added.

Pakistan also faced international pressures especially in the wake of Afghanistan situation. Stable and peaceful Afghanistan was must in the great interest of the region and the world, he said.

When his attention was drawn to the current account deficit of the country, he showed his confidence that the government would successfully manage it soon.

About the slow pace of PM Low Cost Housing Program and delay in launch “ Sehat’ card facility in Sindh province, the governor held Sindh Government’s non-cooperation responsible. In Punjab, Khyber Pakhtoonkwa and Balochistan, the housing programme was going on very well, he said.

Imran Ismail said Green Line bus service would be formally launched next month and that another fleet of forty buses of international standard was to reach Karachi tomorrow.

Spokesman to the Federal Finance Minister, Muzzamil Aslam informed that the country had bumper sugarcane crop this year with estimated production of 100 million tones and that 900 million tones of sugar could be produced. Thus, sugar price would come down to Rs 90 per kg, he added.

He mentioned that Sindh government was hesitant to go for crushing for unknown reasons.

To a question, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Maritime Affairs, Mehmood Maulvi said LNG prices had risen by 114 percent in the world and Pakistan had good stock up to Dec. 2021. And , tenders for the import of LNG would be received very soon.