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ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to start crackdown against hoarders of wheat across the country as decision to this effect was taken during a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday.

A meeting was chaired by the prime minister on availability of wheat and flour in the country, and directed to immediately start crackdown against hoarders of wheat across the country, and directed Chief Secretary Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan to come down hard on smuggling of wheat to eliminate the menace.

The prime minister further directed that to ensure sufficient availability of wheat and flour and to bring prices at a uniform level, inter-provincial coordination should be further improved and complete administrative arrangements should be ensured.

He directed the chief secretary Sindh that keeping in view last year's experience, wheat release policy in the province be finalised as early as possible.

The premier also directed to meet the requirement of wheat and flour in the country, planning for procurement of wheat should also be firmed up at the earliest, and directed that the provinces should adopt zero tolerance policy against adulteration.

Earlier, chief secretaries of Punjab and the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa briefed the meeting on availability of wheat situation and prices in their respective provinces.

The Punjab chief secretary informed the meeting that to ensure wheat availability, the government of Punjab was releasing 18,000 tons of wheat on a daily basis, and to meet the requirement of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, 20 percent flour was being sent to the KP province.

He also briefed the meeting about the availability and prices of sugar in the province.

The KP chief secretary briefed the meeting in detail with regards to steps being taken by the provincial government to prevent smuggling of wheat.

The meeting was attended by minister for national food security and research, industries and production, adviser to prime minister on finance and commerce, and others.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020