PM urges to release sufficient stocks of wheat to market, Export of Gram banned
25 May, 2007
ISLAMABAD: Following wheat, Government has imposed ban on export of Gram with immediate effect to stabilize its price in the market with a view to safeguarding the interest of the common man.
Chairing the meeting to review the prices of essential commodities in the country on Thursday, the Prime Minister directed Provincial Governments to release sufficient stocks of wheat to the market so that there is no shortage.
Minister for Industries and Production Jahangir Khan Tareen, Minister for Food and Agriculture, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosn, Minister of State for Finance Omar Ayub Khan, Managing Director Utility Stores Corporation and other senior officials attended the meeting.
He said the provinces have been asked to keep a vigilant check on the supply and prices of essential commodities in the open market.
Later, talking to media men, the Prime Minister added the government will not allow the vested interest to artificially manipulate the market price of essential commodities through hoarding.
?It is heartening to note that the government`s decision to suspend the export of wheat has led to the immediate reduction in its price in the wholesale market and it is also impacting the retail prices of wheat flour?, he maintained. The Prime Minister noted that atta is being sold at Rs. 13.50 per KG, which was lower compared, to India.
The Prime Minister said the government is making targeted interventions to provide the essential commodities to the common man on affordable prices and using Utility Stores as a vehicle to provide subsidy on these items.
He said the government would open at least one utility store in every Union Council across the country adding that 1000 stores would be opened till June 30.
The Prime Minister emphasized the need to improve the distribution chain in the country especially in the rural areas to ensure that more and more people can obtain their requirement of essential goods from the Utility Stores.
Earlier, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Minister for Food and agriculture informed the Prime Minister that as a result of the earlier decision to allow the export of wheat, additional wheat stocks were disposed of and the farmers got fair price of their produce.
He said preemptive decision of the decision of Economic Coordination Committee to ban the export of wheat will benefit the consumers.
Managing Director Utility Stores Corporation informed the Prime Minister that the number of Utility Stores has been increased from 450 to 1750 in one year including permanent, franchise and mobile utility stores.
Sixty percent of these stores have been opened in the rural areas. He said the number of permanent stores has already doubled from 450 to 900 and will be further increased to 1000 by June this year to meet the target given by the Prime Minister for the current year.
He said the Utility Stores have also increased the number of its warehouses from eighteen to thirty during the year to improve their storage capacity.