LAHORE - The government is considering to increase the wheat prices by at least Rs50 per maund, not taking into account the implications it could have on the general public, especially the poor, and also ignoring the fact that the prices of wheat are already very high in Pakistan compared with the rest of the world including the regional countries, experts said.
They further said that the price-increase would not only affect the general public directly but also indirectly, as this increase would result in increasing the prices of others items (bread etc.) as well, saying that if the government okayed the price-raise, it would put extra burden on the public that has already given up its fight against the ever-increasing price-hike.
The proposed price-hike, they said, will not benefit the 70 per cent rural class, as they dont have lands and even if they have, its (increase) will be meaningless for them because they have very limited farmland. So, the higher wheat prices will definitely benefit only the feudal lords, who have hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland.
This feudal class is dominating the govt as well as the opposition, so both groups are not thinking in favour of the general public, they said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Floor Mills Association Central Committee Chairman Asim Raza Ahmed, while flaying the government proposal of further increasing wheat support price, said that the wheat price is already very high in the country and after further increase it will be difficult for the country to export additional wheat. He observed that the country has been unable to export its extra wheat for the last two years due to high price of the commodities.
He said that the stock of wheat purchased by the government is losing its productivity with the passage of time, besides extra cost of storage on it.
He said if the proposed increase in support price is implemented the wheat price will skyrocketed and reach beyond purchase power of a common man. While its export will also create problem for the country as no country in the region will purchase it due to its rates.