Rs.195.75 billion stuck up in wheat stock

At a time when financing for fresh wheat crop procurement is required urgently, some Rs 195.757 billion have been found tied up in the form of wheat stock in the country that is estimated at 6.757 million tonnes lying with the provinces and Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Supply Corporation (PASSCO), official sources informed.

The federal and provincial government are trying to export at least 2-3 million tonnes of wheat to arrange some portion of financing for public sector procurement of wheat. Sources said that Punjab province has Rs 132.882 billion wheat stock, Sindh Rs 20.598 billion, and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Rs 4.571 billion stocks. Balochistan and PASSCO have Rs 1.852 billion and Rs 35.846 billion stocks respectively. The total wheat stock with the Punjab province is 4.622 million tonnes, Sindh 0.772 million tonnes, provinces, 0.159 million tonnes and Balochistan 0.069 million tonnes. The total wheat stock with PASSCO is 1.185 million tonnes.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) was informed that 2.608 million tonnes wheat stock is available for export and provinces have signed agreements with various parties in for early disposal for extra stocks for creating fiscal space for procurement of new crop and creating space for storage. The meeting was informed that Punjab province has singed agreement for lifting of 1100,000 million tonnes and Sindh for 300,000 tonnes.

The ECC of the Cabinet in its last meeting had approved guarantee worth Rs 164.978 billion for public sector to procure 6.57 million tonnes wheat from the wheat crop 2011. Federal government will provide payment guarantee to provinces and PASSCO on financing they would obtain from banking sector.

The ECC also endorsed the public sector wheat procurement target of 6.57 million tonnes and assigned procurement targets i.e. Punjab to procure 3.5 million tonnes, PASSCO to procure 1.3 million tonnes, Sindh 1.3 million tonnes, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa 0.4 million tonnes and Balochistan to procure 0.07 million of wheat from farmers on minimum guaranteed price of 950 per 40 kilogram. ECC also decided that Punjab and PASSCO would maintain one million tonnes Wheat Strategic Reserves as propionate of their procurement. ECC also allowed the provinces that they could maintain further wheat strategic reserves according to their capacity and needs.

It was informed to the ECC that Punjab already possesses 2.66 million of wheat and these stocks to be sold so as to create a space for fresh stock of wheat at public storage facilities. The provinces also allowed exporting wheat exports according to their wheat stock availability.

The Committee constituted for wheat issues in the chairmanship of Deputy Chairman Planning Commission also presented it’s report to the ECC and recommended that wheat export should continue and government should not impose any ban on export of wheat. A cut-off date should also be announced so as the wheat exporters could obtain and meet their export targets.

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