Government Refutes Subsidy Claims on Wheat Imports, Forms Committee to Address Farmer Issues

Karachi, In a move to clarify recent controversies surrounding wheat imports, the government of Pakistan has announced that no subsidies were provided to commercial importers. This clarification comes amid efforts to resolve farmer grievances linked to the sale and procurement of wheat.

According to United Business Group, Zubair Tufail, the current President of the group and former President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, has supported the Prime Minister's decision to establish a committee under the Ministry of National Food Security and Research Division. This committee is tasked with addressing the implications of wheat imports and enhancing the processes involved in wheat sales and procurement, promising a resolution within four days.

Tufail noted that approximately 3.2 million tonnes of wheat were imported by private entities from September 2023 to March 2024, without any government subsidies. He countered allegations against the interim government, describing them as unjustified. The local wheat crop, which began hitting markets in April, has also been a part of the government’s strategy to manage the wheat supply effectively.

The Prime Minister has also directed the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation to procure 1.8 million tonnes of wheat directly from farmers, ensuring fair compensation and timely payments. These measures aim to secure the nation's wheat needs, with an annual requirement of around 27 million tonnes and a current shortage of about 4 million tonnes.