LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday admitted that the sugar and wheat crisis had originated as a result of his government’s negligence, saying that an investigation was being conducted to find out who was responsible for it.
The prime minister was speaking during the inauguration ceremony of the distribution of Sehat Insaf Card across all the districts of Punjab. He admitted that the sugar, wheat crisis had been caused due to the government’s negligence.
“This was our [government] negligence, I admit this,” he said. “I am telling you this today, we are conducting an investigation into this [wheat and sugar crisis] and we are slowly getting to know who is involved. I promise you, whoever is involved in the crisis, we will not leave that person,” he added.
The prime minister said that his government was getting to know who had “made money off people through artificial inflation”. He said that the government was making a system which will identify in the future about any product that is about to be short in supply.
“We will then import that product or be ready for it,” he said.
How the wheat crisis unfolded across Pakistan
Wheat prices across the country sky rocketed last month after fears of a looming shortage of wheat and sugar hit markets. The government had said it was doing all it could to contain the crisis, amid allegations from the opposition that the government was ill-equipped to deal with the issue.
The News had reported that the wheat crisis originated in Sindh and then spread to other provinces. The report further said that corruption probes against officials in the Sindh government discouraged many in the province from the procurement of wheat that would otherwise have increased existing surplus wheat stock. At one point, the reserve stock was as low as 0.2 million tons.
The problem was exacerbated by a decision to export 200,000 to 400,000 tons of wheat, keeping in view surplus stocks on the basis of estimates presented by Ministry of National Food Security and Research, but the actual exports of wheat crossed 640,000 tons.