Payment to Sindh wheat farmers delayed

Tuesday, June 02, 2009
By Shahid Shah (The News International)

KARACHI: Payments to wheat farmers of Sindh have been delayed as banks are not passing the bills received from the food department. Earlier, the Sindh government had set wheat procurement target at 1.1 million tonnes, but later revised it upward by 100,000 tonnes to 1.2 million tonnes.

An official of the Sindh Food Department told The News that they were short of around 25,000 tonnes in reaching the target, but withholding of payments by banks created some hurdles. He said the province had an agreement with banks for payment against purchase of 1.1 million tonnes, adding the amount for an extra 100,000 tonnes was not agreed.

Earlier, Punjab increased its procurement target to six million tonnes, but faced shortage of sacks as well as dearth of storage capacity. “It has capacity to store only 2.2 million tonnes,” said one market source. The country is expected to produce 23.5 million tonnes of wheat this season.

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