Premier directs ministries to bring down prices of wheat, sugar

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed federal ministries and provincial governments to bring down prices of wheat, sugar, cooking oil, fruits and vegetables to provide relief to the public.

Addressing a press conference, Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awansaid the prime minister held a three hour long meeting Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief ministers, chief secretaries, ministries of food, agriculture, statistics, commerce and industry and cane commissioners and asked them to adopt a comprehensive strategy on ways to reduce prices of essential commodities.

“The prime minister directed that people should be shielded from hikes in prices and availability of food items should be ensured,” she said.

The SAPM added the price of wheat had increased in Sindh after its government had failed to procure the commodity and its stocks were depleted.

“Bilawal Bhutto held a public meeting in Sindh on government expense. The Sindh government was doing politics by using public resources while on the other hand due to its inefficiency and incapability, it had failed to keep the prices of wheat down,” she added.

She added the premier took notice of the situation and issued instructions that Pakistan Agricultural Services and Storage Corporation (PASSCO) should release 0.1 million ton of wheat for the Sindh province to reduce prices and help the people oppressed by their rulers.

Awan said the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) was instructed to come up with a comprehensive strategy and recommendations in three days on release of stock of wheat and cut in prices, adding wheat would also be imported to ensure its availability at cheap prices.

“For the first time, last year the sugarcane farmers received payments as per support price of Rs 180 per 40kg,” she shared.

“The PM expressed dismay at increase of prices of sugar and asked the provinces along with ministry of industry to keep the prices stable and take action against profiteers and hoarders,” Awan said. 

She added the chief ministers have been asked to establish farmer markets to end the role of middlemen so that farmers could benefit and consumers could get relief in prices of vegetables, fruits and perishable items.