As the total public sector stocks depleted to less than three weeks of consumption level, Pakistan Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on Monday underscored the need to build six million metric tons of strategic wheat reserves.
In a National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting, Tarin was informed that the total wheat stocks across the country were 647,687 metric tons as of last week, which at current consumption levels would last for hardly two-and-a-half weeks, reported The Express Tribune.
By the end of April, the stocks would further deplete to 384,000 metric tons - the time when harvesting of the new crop will be in full swing.
The finance minister also underscored the importance of maintaining strategic reserves of essential commodities and directed the provincial governments and departments concerned to work out estimates and procure wheat and sugar in a smooth and timely manner, a Ministry of Finance handout stated.
The strategic reserves will have to be built by importing the commodity due to estimated production of slightly over 26 million metric tons of wheat this year, which is already three million tons short of coming year's total consumption requirements, according to the proceedings of NPMC, reported The Express Tribune.