The recommendations are for import of 1.0 million tons of wheat for unlimited timeline
Pakistan decides to import wheat from the world. The decision is in order to bridge the gap between domestic supply and demand of wheat. It will also ensure food security, decrease/stabilize the local wheat prices and to replenish the strategic reserves. For this, the Ministry of National Food Security & Research submits the recommendations for import of 1.0 million tons of wheat for unlimited timeline.
Thus, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet in its meeting frames the decisions. They are on the recommendations of the Ministry of National Food Security & Research. The decision are as below:
a. Removal of all restriction/check posts and free movement of wheat/wheat flour within the country.
b. Import of one million tons of wheat through the private sector for unlimited period, in the HS Code Category of wheat grain- 1001.1900 and 1001.9900 by abolishing following government taxes and duties:
- Regulatory Duty: 60 percent.
- Custom Duty: 11 percent.
- Sales Tax: 17 percent.
- Withholding Tax: 06 percent.
c. Waiver in the above duties would also allowed for 0.50 million tons of wheat import, already approved by the ECC of the Cabinet on 19-02-2020.
d. Ban on the export of wheat, wheat flour and wheat products will be continued till next recommendations.
e. Provincial Governments should take appropriate measures to curb the hoarding and profiteering in their respective provinces.
The above decision of the ECC is required to be ratified by the Cabinet in its next meeting.
This is of strategic importance as the country is facing severe challenges ahead. Further, it may lead to severe food shortage in the country. Moreover, the attack of locusts have brought the agricultural produce to significantly low levels.