TCP to fetch 29 vessels of wheat till Jan: ECC

By Staff Reporter
Friday – October 16, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The national food security and research (NFSR) ministry cited to the economic coordination committee (ECC), Thursday, that the Trade Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has provided a schedule of 29 vessels that are to arrive till January, 2021, bringing it to 1.5 million metric tons (MMT), of wheat.

According to press releases, adviser to the prime minister on finance and revenue (A-PM-FR) Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting, through a video link from Lahore, at the cabinet division in the federal capital.

The ECC considered the summary moved by the NFSR ministry on “Status of Wheat Import through TCP”.

The forum was briefed that the fifth tender was issued on October 9, 2020, for the procurement of wheat. It was opened on October 14, 2020, wherein 6 parties participated in the bidding process.

Keeping in view the offers received, the NFSR ministry requested the ECC for approval of the lowest bid offer by M/s GTCS for the quantity of 340,000 million tons (MT) of imported wheat along-with the permission to distribute the imported quantities equally among the three recipient agencies which are the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO), Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

They also requested for approval, in principal, for procuring additional quantity from Russia by the TCP.

ECC granted approval for the import of 340,000 MT of wheat and decided that the imported quantities shall be distributed amongst the three parties in proportion to what they have ordered/demanded.

The forum also granted approval in principal for the import of wheat from Russia by the TCP, for which a detailed summary regarding the fresh offer from the Russian government along-with quantities will be presented before the ECC for approval.

The NFSR ministry briefed the ECC that so far, the ministry has 0.57 MT of imported wheat.

The meeting was attended by NFSR minister Syed Fakhar Imam, industries and production minister Hammad Azhar, adviser to prime minister on commerce and investment Abdul Razaq Dawood, special assistant to the prime minister (SAPM) on revenue Waqar Masood Khan, SAPM on petroleum Nadeem Babar and privatisation minister Mohammad Mian Sumroo.

On Thursday, the NFSR ministry claimed that ample wheat stock is available with the public sector and that plenty is also coming in via import; resultantly there should be no wheat shortage.

The wheat production for this year is 25.249 MMT. Whereas, at the present, the total stock with public sector is 4,929,716 tons, with Punjab is 289,021 tons, with Sindh is 1,259,395 tons, with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is 88,045 tons, with Balochistan is 65,082 tons and with PASSCO is 627,173 tons.

The provincial crop reporting services (PCRS) informed the NFSR that there is a shortage of 1.6 MMT.

The wheat deficit was decided to be met through the import of wheat through public, private and on government to government (GTG) basis.

The state-owned TCP is bringing in 217,125 tons of wheat in October via four vessels.

In November 180,000 tons of GTG wheat from Russia is to reach Pakistan in three ships.

12 ships will be brought in by TCP in December, hauling 600,000 tons of wheat.

Similarly in January 2021, 13 more vessels of TCP will arrive in Pakistan with 680,000 tons.

Therefore, the public sector is bringing in 1,677,125 tons of imported staple.

The NFSR is also planning to augment strategic reserves of wheat to offset any future challenges, giving breakup on upcoming cargoes by private sector, the ministry said the country has also received 437,078 tones of imported wheat by the private sector in September.

In October, 6 vessels with 360,000 tons of wheat will reach Pakistan.

In November, the private sector will fetch 180,000 tons of wheat in three ships.

In December, two ships carrying 120,000 tons of wheat will arrive in the country.

Consequently, the private sector will import more than one MT of wheat.

The NFSR believes that the country will have more than sufficient wheat till January.

On the other hand, the NFSR is planning to increase wheat yield through planning in coming years, for this it is focusing on giving better seeds to the farmer.

The farmers are advised to cultivate maximum area with approved seeds to achieve higher yield per acre, the NFSR has identified certified wheat seeds for the first time to bring about secure wheat production.

The federal seed certification and registration department (FSCRD) has certified 515,000 tones of seed for current year.

For back up, FSCRD has tested 200,000 tones of seed from PASSCO, 150,000 tones of seed were tested from the Punjab food department for emergency.

The NFSR has also submitted a summary of improved minimum support price (MSP) of wheat at the ECC.

Coupled with the incumbent’s efforts to curb hoarding and smuggling in recent months, the ministry is of the view that the situation will improve in the coming days.