Islamabad, June 19, 2023 (PPI-OT): President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari has said that Pakistan needs to improve its storage system to make it self-sufficient in food, especially wheat. Government should provide interest-free loans to flour mill owners to improve the storage system. Every year millions of tons of wheat are wasted due to lack of storage system while wheat has to be imported to meet the country's needs. Access to cheap and quality flour to citizens is a joint responsibility of the Food Department and flour mills. Pakistan has produced more than 27 million tons of wheat this year, which is a record, due to the Prime Minister Kisan Package. The government and related institutions should ensure timely measures to deliver the fruits of the best harvest to the industry and the people.
He expressed these views on Monday while talking to Deputy Director Food Department Rawalpindi Division Maher Ghulam Abbas and Floor accused Alkan. On this occasion, Vice President Engineer Azhar Islam, Secretary General UBG Zafar Bakhtawari, former Senior Vice President Chaudhry Mukhtar, District Food Controller Muhammad Zaman and members of the Executive Committee were also present.
President Islamabad Chamber said that Pakistan is primarily an agricultural country, it is very worrying that we have to import food every year to meet our requirement, which consumes a huge national capital. Pakistan's farmers and industry have all the capabilities to make us self-sufficient in food. He said that the Food Department in collaboration with the flour mills industry should take such steps to ensure that we do not have to install cheap flour points.
He said that Deputy Director Food Department Maher Ghulam Abbas has rendered valuable services for the improvement of the system of the department. He has very diligently and dutifully implemented the policy of equality and treated all flour mill owners equally which is commendable. The presence of 95% flour mill owners of Islamabad present in this hall today proves that they have full faith in their policy of equality and inclusiveness of all stakeholders. Islamabad Chamber stands with him in this regard. He said that the Food Department has done an excellent job to prevent the smuggling of wheat.
Speaking on this occasion, Deputy Director Food Department Pindi Division Meher Ghulam Abbas said that the main work of the Food Department is the implementation of government policy. As a regulator, we have done an excellent job this year for procurement of wheat, elimination of smuggling and distribution of subsidies.
The entire flour mill industry is satisfied with our performance, he said that both the food department and the flour mills industry have the same goal to stabilize the prices of flour and not create any crisis, we have succeeded in this, which is a little bit. If there are problems, we will solve them by sitting with the stakeholders. He said that this year, Rawalpindi Division has achieved a historic record of wheat procurement, the effects of which will be seen in the market for the next one year.
Talking on this occasion, Vice President Chamber Engineer Azhar Islam said that Food Department is the most important government institution, Islamabad Chamber will make efforts to solve the problems together with them Secretary General United Business Group Zafar Bakhtawari said that the steps taken by the Food Department to reduce the shortage of flour are commendable. Pakistan's wheat production can be further improved by taking some basic steps. He said that like sugar mill owners, flour mill owners should also provide facilities to the farmers. The government, business community and related institutions should form a comprehensive policy to improve the wheat storage system.
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Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-2250526, 2253145, 8432676
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