The Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research has directed the Food Ministry to take appropriate steps for legislation to facilitate the decision for a uniform minimum support price for wheat.
The panel met under the chairmanship of Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain on Wednesday at the Parliament House.
The committee highlighted that the sowing season for wheat begins on October 10 and hence determination of a uniform minimum support price must be ensured before that.
The committee recommended that a forum should discuss the matter of wheat support price and reach an amicable resolution. The members highlighted that one of the major reasons for the shortage of wheat in the market is smuggling, especially to Afghanistan.
The committee also expressed concern regarding the prices of wheat flour and urged the ministry to take appropriate measures to check the rising inflation that has hit the common man.
The issue of damage to cotton crop due to the recent floods was also taken up by the committee.
While discussing the cotton CESS fee, the committee highlighted that this has been the main reason for losses and that research in the field is the need of the hour.
Regarding loans to facilitate farmers, the committee recommended that all interest on loans given by ZTBL may be waived. The committee recommended an increase in loan facilities for private commercial banks. The committee stressed the need to follow up on the matter with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
The committee also passed the Pakistan Tobacco Board (Amendment) Bill, 2022 with a majority.