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Impact of ban on wheat movement in Sindh

20 April, 2012

KARACHI: Following the imposition of Section 144 by the Sindh Food Department related to inter-district wheat movement in Sindh, an extreme shortage of the commodity is apprehended by the traders of the commodity in coming days ahead, which may also result in a crisis-like situation regarding flour availability in the port city.

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KARACHI: Following the imposition of Section 144 by the Sindh Food Department related to inter-district wheat movement in Sindh, an extreme shortage of the commodity is apprehended by the traders of the commodity in coming days ahead, which may also result in a crisis-like situation regarding flour availability in the port city.

It may be recalled here that this year Sindh Food Department took more than one month as compared to previous years announcing wheat procurement date officially. Ironically the new date of April 16 was announced a few days ago by the provincial food department, which is unusual if previous years dates of March 15 are taken into account.

The situation particularly spelled serious hardships for cash-strapped farmers of the province as the new yield is exposed to weather hazard, which may cause them colossal financial losses.

However, in line with its old policy the department immediately also announced inter-district wheat movement ban with the obvious aim to accomplish the set goal of 1.3 million expeditiously.

The officials at the helm of affairs of the food department while announcing the restriction on free wheat movement overlooked the dependence of Karachi on easy availability of the commodity from interior Sindh and as a consequence the port city is likely to face severe shortage of wheat in the next few days.

“If the ban was not lifted by Monday or Tuesday next, wheat rates could surge beyond officials rates of Rs 1,050 per 40 kilogrammes weight, which in turn might spell negative impact on prices of all varieties of flour in the city,” claimed a leading trader of wheat.

An official of Chakki Flour Association, replying to a query of the scribe claimed that chakki flour rates could surge sharply up to the level of Rs 40 per kg in the next few days from its present prices of Rs 35 to Rs 36 per kg.

A majority of chakki flour owners has hardly two to three3 days of wheat stock n their godowns and the situation will turn critical for them if the ban on movement of the commodity was not immediately lifted by the Sindh Food Department.

Attributing another reason for the imposition of Section 144 by the department, he said despite high official rate of wheat which is Rs 1,050 per 40 kgs bag, an overwhelming majority of farmers in Sindh prefer to dispose off their yield to open market traders at lower rates of Rs 950 per 40 kg bag, which is mainly on account of prompt payment of their dues.

Officially it takes a longer period of time for farmers to recover their dues from Sindh Food Department involving a number of hassles compelling them to turn their attention to open market traders.

End.


 
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