Sindh matches Punjab wheat price to stabilise flour rate

Published October 6, 2021
The provincial cabinet approved the release of wheat from Oct 16 at a rate of Rs1,950 per 40 kilogramme. — Reuters/File
The provincial cabinet approved the release of wheat from Oct 16 at a rate of Rs1,950 per 40 kilogramme. — Reuters/File

KARACHI: While Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry claimed that wheat was the costliest in Sindh as compared to other provinces, the provincial cabinet on Tuesday decided to release wheat to flour mills at a rate of Rs1,950 per 40 kg from Oct 16 — the same price fixed in Punjab.

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who presided over the cabinet meeting, said the prices of wheat flour would be stabilised with the fixation of a uniform rate in the country.

The federal information minister through his official Twitter account said the provincial government had halted the release of 1.2 million tonnes of wheat, driving its rate up, claiming that the price was highest in Sindh as compared to other provinces.

He also accused the provincial government of not procuring the grain previously.

However, Food Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla told the Sindh cabinet that over 1.2 million tonnes of wheat stocks were available in the warehouses of the food department, which released the commodity to flour mills on Oct 15 every year.

Millers to get supply at Rs1,950 per 40kg; side-view mirrors on motorbikes made mandatory

He said that currently the Punjab government had started releasing wheat at the rate of Rs1,950 per 40 kg from Sept 20.

The cabinet approved the release of wheat from Oct 16 at a rate of Rs1,950 per 40 kg after the chief minister observed that the uniform rate of wheat in the country would stabilise the prices of flour.

Land for 30,000 locally displaced persons

Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah briefed the cabinet on rehabilitation of the people displaced during the anti-encroachment drive at the Gujjar, Orangi and Mehmoodabad nullahs.

He said that the Supreme Court took cognizance of the condition of storm-water drains and directed the National Disaster Management Authority to take over the cleaning of nullahs and remove the encroachments with the support of the provincial government.

He said that the court had also directed the provincial government to provide all necessary assistance and support to the NDMA for rehabilitation of the people dislocated on account of removal of the encroachments.

Mr Shah said that it was decided that the resettlement support would be applicable to the occupants only as in case of partial demolition of structures (up to 30 per cent) that did not warrant dislocation of occupant resettlement would not be paid.

He said the approved resettlement support model had two components — rental support of Rs15,000 per month per household for two years, on a six-monthly basis to be disbursed through biometric verification by the office of the Karachi administrator.

The minister said that the locally displaced persons (LDPs) would be given the first right of refusal to incentivise housing projects undertaken by the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAPHDA) in Phase-I, which includes 100,000 units with the federal government. subsidy of Rs300,000 for each unit.

He said that the NAPHDA would earmark 30,000 units for Karachi LDPs in Phase-I of their project and the land of the subject housing would be provided by the provincial government free of cost.

“For the purpose, the Sindh government filed three separate petitions in the apex court praying to release Rs10 billion to the provincial government from the amount deposited by the Bahria Town with the Supreme Court so that the required development works might be undertaken,” he said.

The cabinet approved the proposal / petitions to be filed in the Supreme Court.

The finance department submitted an outcome of the actuarial baluation on employee benefit schemes. According to the outcome over the period of 2015-16 to 2018-19, the current revenue expenditures grew at an average annual rate of 18.2pc, the employees related expenses grew at average annual rate of 15.3pc but the pension bill grew at an average annual rate of 30.8pc.

The cabinet referred the matter to a committee comprising Labour Minister Saeed Ghani, Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh and Social Welfare Minister Sajid Jokhio to examine the report and the suggested measures and report back to the cabinet.

Amendment in motor vehicle rules

The cabinet approved an amendment in the Motor Vehicle Rule No 156 under which motorcyclists would have to install side mirrors on their bikes to be aware of the side traffic on both sides rearwards.

Another amendment was suggested by the transport department in the Motor Vehicle Rules, 1969 regarding regularisation of commercial trolley and fee structure for terminals with requisite areas of the land. However, the cabinet deferred the matters and directed the department to provide copies of the amendments to cabinet members so that they could study the proposal before the next meeting.

The cabinet on the request of Industries Minister Jam Saifullah Dharejo approved amendments in the Partnership Act 1932 for promoting the ease-of-doing business to facilitate business community.

The cabinet allotted a non-cultivated belt of Tehsil Jati, District Sujawal, for the falconry season 2021-22 to an applicant of Qatar.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2021

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