ISLAMABAD: The Standing Committee on National Food Protection and Study of the National Assembly on Monday demanded the Ministry of Food to raise the price of wheat support to Rs1,800 per 40kg, citing the example of countries producing wheat in the region that have dramatically increased the price of wheat support.
National Food Security Secretary Ghufran Memon told the NA committee that, based on a field survey conducted by the Agriculture Price Institute, the production cost of wheat for 2020-21 crops was estimated at Rs1,586.88 per 40 kgs at market level in Punjab.
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The standing committee meeting, chaired by MNA Rao Muhammad Ajmal Khan, requested the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) to raise the price of wheat help to Rs1,800 per 40 kg, based on the figures released by the minister.
At its meeting last month, the federal cabinet set Rs1,650 as the minimum support price for 40kg of wheat, with Information Minister Shibli Faraz saying that the increased cost will favour both the masses and the farmers.
The MNFSR was in favour of raising the price of assistance to Rs1,800 per 40kg. The Cabinet Economic Coordination Committee also set a minimum support price of Rs1,650 per 40 kg for the upcoming wheat harvest.
Memon told the NA committee that in Oct 2019, the minimum support price of wheat in India was registered at Rs1,925. This price is up by 4.6 per cent relative to the previous year.
The minimum support price works out at Rs1,725 per 40kg in terms of Pak rupee equivalent. In China, the government has increased the minimum wheat support price to Pak Rs2,001 per 40kg for the 2020-21 season, the committee was told.
The NA body has ordered that the electricity cost should be lowered to Rs5.35 per unit from Rs9.35.
On that date, the Citrus Exporters Association raised the question of a cut in fruit price of Rs250 per maund from Rs850 to Rs600 per maund.
The MNFSR told the committee that the prices of any fruit or vegetable are not under the federal government’s jurisdiction.
The committee, however, instructed Deputy Commissioner Sargodha to hold a meeting to address the problem at the earliest with growers and exporters.