Decision to increase wheat support price lauded. The move can increase the price of roti. Duty-free import of wheat can stabilize prices.

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(November 15, 2019)

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday lauded the decision of the government to increase wheat support price by Rs 50.

The support price has been increased after five years which will provide some relief to farmers but it may increase the price of roti which has already been increased twice during this year, he said.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the government claims that it has sufficient stock of wheat in the country but the private sector has expressed concerns which should be taken seriously.

The former minister noted that situation should be reassessed to keep the balance between demand and supply lest whether or some other factors disrupt the supply side.

The government claims that it has 4.5 million tonnes of wheat while the private sector is asking for permission to import up to three hundred thousand tonnes of wheat which must be considered.

He said that wheat stocks in Sindh are under pressure, rumors are fanning speculation resulting in a price hike while smuggling to Afghanistan continues unabated.

Punjab has 3.5 million tonnes of wheat; KP has two hundred thousand tonnes of wheat while Sindh claims to have eight hundred thousand tonnes of wheat which are contested by market forces.

The business leader said that the government has tried to keep prices stable but to no avail, therefore, the government should allow duty-free import of wheat to keep prices stable.

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