Standing Committee Chairman on Commerce Expresses Concerns Over ‘Expensive Wheat Imports’

Syed Naveed Qamar was chairing the 21st meeting of the Standing Committee on Commerce today in the Parliament House, Islamabad.

Chairman Syed Naveed Qamar expressed serious concern about the current import of wheat when our own local wheat is started arriving in the market. He named it a ‘Recipe for Disaster’.

During a briefing on ‘import of wheat’ by Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), he further added that the figures show that the imported wheat is more expensive than the local market, consequences will start next year when nobody will be ready to sow the crop.

He said that in this permanent cycle of import of wheat, the government is providing incentives to foreign farmers instead of our own growers and this situation is against the whole agriculture sector and the economy of Pakistan.

The Committee invited the Secretary, Ministry of National Food Security and Research for a briefing on wheat, in the next meeting.

The Chairman Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) briefed the Standing Committee on Commerce that as per the given target by the government the TCP has imported 2.16 million MT wheat through international tendering and PASCO. 30 bulk vessels of TCP arrived from October 2020 to March 2021.

The Committee also discussed the issues relating to the import of Cotton. The Ministry of Commerce informed the Committee that due to less Cotton production, domestic production of Cotton yarns has remained low which resulted in yarn shortage and subsequently high yarn prices. The value-added sector is not able to cover yarn to materialize export orders.

The Standing Committee observed a continuous decline in Cotton production since FY 2015-16. The Committee constituted a Sub-Committee on the matter. The subcommittee will present its report in 30 days.

The meeting was attended by Mr. Ali Khan Jadoon MNA, Mr. Khurram Shehzad MNA, Mian Muhammad Shafiq MNA, Ms. Wajiha Akram MNA, Ms. Sajida Begum MNA, Mr. Usman Ibrahim MNA, Rana Iradat Sharif Khan MNA, Mr. Rasheed Ahmed Khan MNA, and Ms. Tahira Aurangzeb MNA.

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