KARACHI: Central Vice President PTI and Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly, Haleem Adil Sheikh, Wednesday, hold provincial government responsible of food inflation in Sindh and demanded immediate measures to bring down wheat and flour prices at par with other provinces of Pakistan.
Haleem Adil Sheikh, in a statement issued here, said that government of Sindh has 1.2 million tons of wheat in stock but that was not being released to flour mills and withholding of food department’s stock was negatively affecting availability as well as prices of wheat and flour in the province as wheat flour price has crossed Rs2800 per 40 kilogram.
On Prime Minister’s directives, federal ministry of Food Security has written a letter to Sindh government for taking appropriate measures at the earliest but practical action was not seen so far, he said. Prices of wheat flour in Sindh is higher than other provinces and people of the Sindh were being pushed deliberately into dearness, Haleem Adil Sheikh alleged adding that PPP government used to steal wheat through their corrupt systems by allowing traders to take benefit of sluggishness and negligence of government departments.
“Food department delays wheat procurement through their centers while gunny bags are provided only to traders and middlemen who procure wheat from farmers at lower rates and later make profit by selling it the same at higher prices,” Adil revealed.
The CM Sindh and his food ministers had put the food department under debt of private banks amounting to Rs 150 billion as flour mills of favourite people were issued wheat against bogus cheques those bounced later, Sheikh added.
Adil alleged that Bilawal Zardari, Murad Ali Shah and his cabinet members were responsible of higher prices of wheat flour in Sindh who deliberately fuels up inflation and then blame federal government for it. PPP government, in the past, stolen wheat from warehouses of food department and a fake report was presented stating that wheat was spoiled by rats, he pointed out adding that cases in the regard were under investigation in the NAB.
“Why wheat is not being released from 1.2 million tons stock available with food department while people in Sindh were dying of hunger?” Sheikh questioned. He demanded that provincial wheat release policy be announced at the earliest and measures should be taken to bring wheat and flour prices at par with other provinces of the country so that people could get rid of artificial dareness.