Minister blames mafias for Wheat hoarding

ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security & Research Tariq Bashir Cheema on Monday said the government procured only 20 percent of total wheat produced in the country and blamed various mafias for hoarding and provinces for not checking the exorbitant prices of wheat in their respective jurisdictions.
Responding to a motion, on the floor of the Senate, moved to discuss the nonavailability of wheat and its exorbitant rates, he said that the unnecessary crisis of flour in the country was mainly because of less than required release of wheat by the provinces to the flour mills.
He said the private sector purchases 80 percent of wheat and sells it at exorbitant rates.
He said the federal government was trying its utmost to meet the needs of provinces, but provinces were not fulfilling their responsibilities as they were duty-bound to provide wheat to the people. Province also has a price check mechanism in their respective jurisdiction. He said there was a shortage of 17,000 bags in the federal capital, however, the federal government was trying to overcome the shortage by increasing supplies. –Agenceis