Middlemen capitalise on govt ‘apathy’

Delay in bags issuance, wheat procurement


Wheat growers started selling wheat to middlemen at lower price of Rs1,200 per 40kg against the government-fixed support price due to delay in the issuance of gunny bags and in wheat procurement at the official centres.
The perturbed growers have expressed grave concern over the situation. They said that the inordinate delay in issuance of gunny bags by the government has forced them to go to middlemen in the markets of Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils.
The growers said that they were forced o sell wheat to the middlemen at Rs1,200 per mound (40 KGs) against the fixed rate of Rs1,300 per mound. They added that they were forced to sell their wheat on lower prices in a bid to avert financial loss. They said that the advantage of selling wheat to the middlemen is that the middlemen make the instant payments while the process of payment after selling wheat at the procurement centres is very complicated.
“The sellers have to get cheques of their payments, and then deposit the same in the banks for payment. Wheat growers having no bank accounts could not sell their wheat to the government,” they said.
The district administration had earlier announced to start the issuance of gunny bags from April 15 and start of official wheat procurement at all the nine official wheat procurement centers in Sialkot district from April 20, they said. Neither the issuance of bags nor the procurement has started, they added.
When contacted, Food Department officials said that they were waiting for go ahead from their provincial high ups in this regard.
FIA FOCUSES ON POS: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has started re-making of the fresh sketches of all 400 fugitive human traffickers in a bid to update their data.
According to the deputy director of FIA Gujranwala Division, most of 400 human traffickers have changed their get ups in a bid to avert their possible arrests. He said that these most wanted accused belonged to Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahaud Din, Hafizabad and Gujranwala districts and wanted by the FIA in hundreds of the cases of the human trafficking.
He said that the now FIA is compiling the fresh data of these fugitives to ensure their early arrests, saying that the FIA has tightened its noose on these accused. He said that now the FIA also updating their fresh online data by feeding their sketches, photos and other updates.
Khalid Anees added that the FIA is getting the bank accounts of these 400 human traffickers-cum-proclaimed offenders have been frozen and properties confiscated with the help of the Revenue Department.
He said that the FIA would soon launch a vigorous anti human trafficking campaign on media seeking the help and active cooperation of the people to ensure their early arrests.

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