The federal government has decided to sell 120,000 MT of wheat to United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for Afghanistan at full import cost in US dollars instead of Pak rupee or any other currency, sources in Ministry of National Food Security and Research told Business Recorder.
The Ministry of National Food Security and Research recently informed the ECC that the World Food Programme of the United Nations Organization had requested for the purchase of additional 120,000 MT of wheat from Passco’s stocks and approval of the government of Pakistan for the export of wheat flour (corresponding to 120,000 MT of wheat) from Pakistan to Afghanistan.
The ECC was further briefed that this forum on December 01, 2021 allowed WFP for purchase of additional 175,000 MT of wheat for Afghanistan and relaxation of ban on the export of wheat flour.
The decision of the ECC was ratified by the Federal Cabinet on December 07, 2022. In compliance with the decision of the Cabinet, Passco allocated a quantity of 140,000 MT of wheat for WFP. However, due to certain reasons, only 28,521 MT of wheat could be lifted by WFP to Afghanistan.
Passco maintains that due to import and ample supply of locally procured wheat, it had sufficient wheat stocks to provide 120,000 MT of wheat demanded by the World Food Programme for supply of wheat flour to Afghanistan during 2022-23. The Finance Division argued that the requisite demand by WFP may be met out of imported wheat stock of Passco at full cost in foreign currency, preferably in US$.
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The Ministry of National Food Security and Research argued that in view of the sufficient wheat stock available with PASSCO and considering the local demand and supply situation in the country, the request of the WFP for purchase/reservation of 120,000 MT of wheat from the imported wheat stock of Passco may be allowed at full cost. The wheat would be locally ground into wheat and supplied to Afghanistan by WFP, subject to relaxation of ban on the export of wheat flour to the extent of the instant proposal of 120,000 MT of wheat.
The amount of supplied wheat along with cost and incidentals would be charged in foreign currency, preferably in US$.
After brief deliberations, the Economic Coordination Committee approved the proposal of Ministry of National Food Security and Research with the caveat that the price to sell should reflect the latest price of US $ 515/MT CFR Karachi plus incidental charges.
The ECC maintained that since the government of Pakistan has bought the wheat in dollars, it should be sold in the same currency, ie, USD.