ISLAMABAD: Expressing serious concern over the import of wheat when local stocks have begun arriving in the market, chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar termed the government’s move a “recipe for disaster”.

Chairing the NA body meeting on Thursday, Mr Qamar said that with this cycle of wheat imports, the government was providing incentives to foreign farmers instead of our own growers. This situation is against the entire agriculture sector and the economy of Pakistan, he added.

During a briefing on wheat imports by the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), the committee chairman noted that imported wheat was more expensive than the locally produced stocks. The consequences will start next year when nobody will be ready to sow the wheat crop, Mr Qamar said.

The committee invited Ministry of National Food Security and Research secretary for a briefing on wheat in the next meeting.

On the occasion, the TCP chairman briefed the committee that as per given target by the government, the corporation has imported 2.16 million tonnes of wheat through international tendering and the Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation. Thirty bulk vessels of TCP arrived from October 2020 to March 2021 while tenders for an additional 300,000 tonnes were also floated, the standing committee was informed.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2021

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