(May 11, 2020)
FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel SVP, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said the country is on the brink of a destabilising wheat crisis.
The prices of wheat and flour have been increasing steadily which calls for urgent intervention by federal or provincial governments otherwise it will engulf country with a heavy political cost, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that masses have already been pushed to the wall due to coronavirus and lockdown and they are not prepared to face another crisis.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that so for the wheat procurement drive is unsatisfactory while reports of corruption, incompetence and mismanagement is rife.
The former minister noted not even half of the wheat could be purchased while the private sector is being discouraged from buying wheat which amounts to preparing the ground for another crisis.
He said that hoarders are stocking wheat without any fear which can be countered with import of five million tonnes of wheat as a meaningful action against mafia is unlikely.
He noted that last year the private sector repeatedly warned about the crisis but their calls were ignored which helped mafia to taken billions out of the pockets of poor people while so far masses are awaiting action against the profiteers.
Only import can push hoarders to bring their wheat in the market to stabilise prices as the price of wheat has increased by Rs7 per kg in Karachi in last few days and it is set to rise further, he said.
He said that the situation in provinces of Sindh and Punjab are far from satisfactory which should be noticed.