Govt lifts 3-year ban on wheat exports


ISLAMABAD: The government on Tuesday decided to lift a three-year ban on wheat export, allowing the private sector to export one million tonnes of wheat without any subsidy during the current financial year.
The decision was made during Tuesday meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet (ECC), which met under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MINFA) had sought the lifting of the ban on wheat export, as the country had two million tonnes of wheat in surplus.
MINFA said the estimated price of locally procured wheat was Rs 1,010 per 40 kgs, whereas international prices of wheat had risen to Rs 1,020 per 40 kgs.
At present, local and international wheat prices were at an even level, but international prices of wheat were expected to rise in the near future. MINFA stressed that the private sector could easily export surplus wheat and no subsidy was required.
The committee directed the State Bank of Pakistan, FBR and the Ministry of Commerce to monitor the wheat export process. The ECC also allowed the import of 0.225 million tonnes of urea on a proposal by the Ministry of Industries.
However, the meeting disallowed involvement of the Trading Corporation of Pakistan in urea import and directed that the private sector should be involved to take benefit from Saudi Arabian credit facility of $100 million for urea import.