Steps taken for transparency in wheat procurement: KP minister

Peshawar   -   Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Food Zahir Shah Toru has said that all necessary measures are taken for transparency in the process of wheat procurement in the province. 

In this regard, eight officials, including a deputy director and two district food controllers, have been suspended and action has been initiated against them on public complaints.

Zahir Shah Toru expressed these views while addressing the ‘Meet the Press’ programme at the Press Club Mardan after visiting the warehouses of the Food Department in Mardan. Provincial Minister of Public Health Engineering Malik Pakhtunyar Khan and MPA Tariq Mehmood were also present on the occasion. 

Zahir Shah Toru said that the process of purchasing wheat in the 22 purchase centres of the province is going on a first-come-first-served basis. CCTV cameras have been installed in all the centres for transparency in the purchase process, while a control room has also been set up in the office of the Secretary Food to regularly monitor the process.

Similarly, 267 police officials have been deployed at 22 purchase centres. He said that under the vision of PTI founder Imran Khan, the zero tolerance policy for corruption was being observed under the leadership of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur. He informed that 8 officers including one deputy director of Food Department, two DFCs have been suspended on various complaints. Similarly on a complaint about a patwari in Mardan, the deputy commissioner has removed him from the wheat procurement process. 

He said that the target of 51% procurement has been achieved in Mardan. In response to a question, provincial food minister Zahir Shah Toru said that the provincial government has saved a huge amount of Rs12 billion in the purchase of wheat and for transparency in the purchase, NAB and revenue, agriculture, anti-corruption officers have also been involved in the process.

He said that DFCs buying defective and imported wheat will face disciplinary action. He said that the purchase process will be completed before June 7. 

In response to a question, the minister said that some elements are spreading baseless propaganda against the Food Department and the provincial government to straighten their own agenda, but we will complete the procurement process in a transparent manner without conceding to the blackmailing of anyone. The provincial food minister said that Rs29 billion have been allocated for the purchase of three lakh metric tons of wheat in the province.

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