Pakistan on the brink of a wheat crisis

25 June 20202 min reading
Mian Zahid Hussain

President of Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum Mian Zahid Hussain said the country is on the brink of a destabilising wheat crisis.

President of Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, Mian Zahid Hussain, has said that the country is on the brink of a wheat crisis. The price of wheat and flour had been increasing steadily which called for an urgent intervention by the federal or provincial governments, or the crisis would make the country pay a heavy political cost, he said. Mian Zahid Hussain said that the people had already been pushed to the wall due to the coronavirus and lockdown, and they were not prepared to face another crisis. He said that the wheat procurement drive had been unsatisfactory so far while reports of corruption, incompetence and mismanagement were rife. He noted that not even half of the amount of wheat could be purchased while the private sector was being discouraged from buying wheat which amounted to preparing a ground for another crisis. He said that hoarders were piling up stocks of wheat without any fear which could only be countered by importing five million tons of wheat. Mian Zahid Hussain noted that last year the private sector had repeatedly warned the government about the crisis, but its warnings were ignored which helped the "mafia to take billions out of the pockets of the poor people". "Only import can force the hoarders into bringing their wheat into the market to stabilize prices as the price of wheat has increased by Rs7 per kg in Karachi, and it is set to rise further," he said. He said that the situation in Sindh and Punjab was far from being satisfactory, and the government must take notice of it.

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