ISLAMABAD: A hurriedly called meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Thursday approved the lowest bid for import of 340,000 tonnes of wheat at the rate of $284 per tonne.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh presided over the one-point agenda meeting through video link from Lahore.
The ECC took up a summary moved by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) on the status of wheat import through the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) and was told that the fifth tender for procurement of wheat had been issued on Oct 9 in which six parties had participated. It was opened on Oct 14.
Keeping in view the offers received, the MNFSR requested the ECC for approval of the lowest bid offered by M/s GTCS for 340,000 tonnes of imported wheat and sought permission to distribute the quantities equally among three recipient agencies — Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco), Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The ministry also requested for approval, in principle, of procurement of additional quantity from Russia by the TCP.
The meeting approved the import of 340,000 tonnes of wheat and their distribution among Passco, Punjab and KP and decided that a detailed summary regarding the fresh offer from the Russian government along with quantities would be presented before the ECC for approval.
The MNFSR told the meeting that it had 0.57 million tonnes of imported wheat, adding that the TCP had provided a schedule of 29 vessels that would arrive till January 2021, bringing the total quantity to 1.5 million tonnes of wheat in the country. The ministry said it had been making best efforts to overcome any future shortage of wheat in the country.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood Khan, SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar and Minister for Privatisation Mohammadmian Soomro.
Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2020