KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday said that the federal government being “inexperienced and naive” had created shortage of wheat last year by releasing it just after its harvest in March and then imported the grain at higher rates and now they were repeating the same mistake.
“We know how to procure wheat and at what rates and when to release so that atta prices in the market remain stable,” he said while talking to the media after visiting the residence of late legendary comedian Umer Sharif to offer his condolences with his family.
He was accompanied by his Law Advisor and Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab.
The CM said that the flour prices were lower in Sindh than Punjab but let the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf people say whatever they felt fit.
Says his administration ‘seriously’ considering setting up an institute in Umer Sharif’s name
“What is their performance,” he questioned and then replied they [PTI] had unleashed a tsunami of price hike, unrest, and uncertainty by pursuing defective, unrealistic, and unworkable policies, resultantly the country had bogged down in the worst economic and political crisis.
To a question, the chief minister said that last year the PTI government had released wheat just after its harvest in March.
“When wheat is harvested its stocks circulate in the market in abundance at a reasonable rate and when the stocks start dwindling the governments begin to release wheat to control the prices,” he said and added the wheat was harvested in the country in March and released in October every year.
Mr Shah said that the PTI government again released wheat in Punjab and in other provinces being ruled by it just after harvesting the new crops, therefore, the wheat stocks disappeared from market and prices started going up.
“Surprisingly, they kept us pressing for releasing the wheat to millers but we had refused and now in October we would start releasing the grain and our stocks are enough to meet our requirement till the arrival of the new crop in March 2022,” he said.
He added the federal government was not ready to give Rs5,000 per 100-kg bag price to local growers but now they were importing the wheat at a price of Rs6,600 per 100-kg bag.
Talking about the National Command and Operations Centre’s decisions, Mr Shah said that his government had been implementing their decisions but “we have taken important decisions keeping in view the ground situation of the Covid-19”.
He said that Umer Sharif was an asset of the country, and his services would always be remembered. “We are seriously considering establishing an institute in his name,” he said.
Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2021