Mon, 10 May 2021

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 4 (ANI): Pakistan government on Monday decided to import four million metric tons of wheat this year to meet the domestic consumption requirements.

According to The Express Tribune, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin asked the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) to change its price methodology as he believed that the prices of essential commodities were over-reported, officials of the Ministry of Finance and PBS said.

The PBS is under pressure as the government had not been able to control wheat, wheat flour and sugar prices that doubled in less than three years. Headed by Tarin, the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) took the decision to import four million metric tons of wheat.

A summary will now be presented before the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet for formal approval. The NPMC met two days after the PBS reported that inflation skyrocketed to 11.1 per cent in April on the back of higher food prices, reported The Express Tribune.

On April 27, in NPMC meeting, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin was informed that the total wheat stocks across the country were 647,687 metric tons as of last week, which at current consumption levels would last for hardly two-and-a-half weeks. By the end of April, the stocks would further deplete to 384,000 metric tons - the time when harvesting of the new crop will be in full swing.

According to the PBS, during the first nine months of this fiscal year, Pakistan imported 3.6 million metric tons of wheat costing USD 983.3 million. The total leftover wheat stocks across the country were less than 400,000 metric tons. The meeting was informed that for the year 2021-22, the wheat consumption was estimated at 29.3 million metric tons. (ANI)

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