August 24, 2016
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday asked the government to increase regulatory duty on import of wheat from 40 percent to 60 percent to discourage imports.
Country has already surplus stock and all efforts to deal with it has backfired therefore wheat imports at this stage is against the national interest, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that federal and provincial governments have almost ten million tonnes of surplus wheat which is rotting in godowns.
Earlier this year the government increased regulatory duty on imports from 25 percent to 40 percent but it failed to deter importers which must be reviewed immediately, he said.
Surplus stock could not be sold in the international market due to low prices despite frequent extension of dates and upward revision in the export rebate which hit almost 90 dollars per tonne, he noted.
The business leader said that the federal government allowed Punjab and Sindh to sell twelve hundred thousand tonnes of wheat but both the provinces could manage to sell only 416,650 tonnes, almost one third of the allowed wheat export.
He said that high support price has increased production of wheat but its prices has remain the same since three years, which if reduced will increase consumption which will reduce pressure on stocks and provide relief to masses while easing pressure on the central bank.