KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet, in order to avoid spending foreign exchange on purchase of costly imported wheat, on Thursday took a decision to encourage local growers to cultivate more wheat by fixing minimum procurement support price at Rs2,000 per 40kg.
The cabinet also approved sugar cane support price at Rs202 per 40kg and the crushing season would start from November.
The cabinet meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at CM House.
The meeting was attended by all provincial ministers, advisors, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, provincial secretaries and other officers.
The first item on the agenda was fixation of the support price of wheat and sugar cane.
The cabinet members said that it was high time to fix support price of wheat to encourage the growers for cultivating the key grain in great quantity. They said that wheat had recently been imported from Ukraine which finally landed in the province at the rate of around Rs5,000 per 40kg though it was not of such a good quality as was being grown here.
It was pointed out that the country was spending foreign exchange on import of wheat but we were not ready to incentivize our growers so that they grow more wheat for local consumption and export.
The agriculture department told the cabinet that Punjab and Balochistan had proposed to fix maximum wheat procurement support price at Rs1,700 per 40kg while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa proposed Rs1,880 per 40kg.
Support price of sugar cane also fixed
The cabinet members unanimously decided to fix wheat procurement minimum support price at Rs2,000 per 40kg. “This decision at this time when wheat plantation season, from November 21 to December 15, is approaching ... the growers would prefer to grow more wheat because of its good price,” the chief minister said, added that “being agricultural country we should formulate such policies under which we not only ensure our food security but export grain to earn foreign exchange”.
The Sindh cabinet taking another important decision fixed the minimum sugar cane price at Rs202 per 40kg plus Rs0.50 (fifty paisa) quality premium.
The cabinet also directed the agriculture department to ensure the starting of the crushing season from Nov 30.
It was informed that the agriculture minister had held a meeting of the Sugarcane Control Board on Oct 20, which was attended by all the sugar mills’ representatives and the growers had demanded to increase the purchase price of cane as the prices of inputs had increased considerably.
The meeting was told that during 2019-20 the provincial government had notified sugar cane price at Rs192 per 40kg. It was also pointed out that the Punjab government had notified Rs200 per 40kg minimum cane price.
The cabinet realizing the sugar cane production cost decided to fix the minimum cane purchase price at Rs202 per 40kg and also approved the rate of quality premium at Re0.50 per 40kg.
The cabinet was told that Sir Cowasjee Jehangir (CJ) Institute of Psychiatry, Hyderabad, was established over an area of 27.22 acres at deh Giddu, taluka Hyderabad in 1939-40.
The cabinet after thorough discussion approved to declare the building as protected heritage under Sindh Cultural Heritage (Preservation) Act, 1994.
The culture department presented another item under which the Heritage Committee had approved construction of a building within the compound of Homie Katrak Chamber, situated on Abdullah Haroon Road, Hoshang Road, Karachi. The cabinet was shown photographs of the proposed high-rise building to be constructed within the old compound.
Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2020