KARACHI: The Sindh government on Thursday described Islamabad’s allegations against the provincial government over recent wheat crisis as “another attempt to pressurise the Pakistan Peoples Party government”, claiming that the federal ministers misled the people and did not share facts with the people only to save their own skin.

Addressing a press conference, key ministers of the PPP government and close aides to the Sindh chief minister said that the federal ministers had shared things that were not based on ‘reality’.

They, the Sindh ministers said, were trying to put pressure on the Sindh government.

“Even now, despite the [lack of] subsidy [on] wheat by Sindh, not only cheap flour is available to the people here, but also in abundant quantity, while in Punjab, despite the subsidy of Rs50 million ... flour is not available to the people there,” said Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah while addressing the press conference in the Sindh Assembly auditorium along with Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani and Food Minister Hari Ram.

“Either it is not available or, even if it is, it is available at higher prices. The whole recent exercise by the federal ministers is an attempt to put the Sindh government under pressure and damage its reputation among the people of Pakistan by sharing with them only the half-truth.”

Claim post-Eid cleanliness drive was better than previous years

He said that the federal ministers’ claims had nothing to do with reality, as they were trying to put responsibility of their failures and shortcomings on the Sindh government.

“The food department has not only achieved the procurement targets, but the Sindh government also allowed the flour mills to store a three-month quota, and today flour and wheat are available in Sindh at fixed prices. So far no subsidy has been given by the Sindh government. We usually announce subsidy in September,” he said.

He blamed the federal government for creating the wheat crisis in the country with the connivance of hoarders, and added that now the federal ministers were trying to put the rubble of this ‘incompetence’ on the Sindh government.

Minister Saeed Ghani claimed that the way the present “incompetent and corrupt ministers” were trying to mislead the people, they would not succeed in their attempt.

He said that the flour mills’ association was praising the Sindh government over its handling and managing of the commodity’s procurement and transportation.

Cleanliness drive

Regarding cleanliness drive during Eidul Azha, Mr Shah said that this year all the stakeholders came together to execute the plan which proved successful.

The post-Eid operation of cleanliness, he claimed, was much better than previous years.

He said the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was cleaning only three out of 38 big drains of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation in the city while the KMC and the Sindh government were cleaning the remaining 35 drains.

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2020