BY SAIFULLAH KHAN
Lahore: Senior & Food Minister Punjab Abdul Aleem Khan has said that stern action will be taken against ghost companies working only for wheat quota while genuine seed companies working in true sense will be encouraged and Food Department will also extend full cooperation to them. He expressed these views while talking in a meeting with the delegation led by Chaudhry Bilal Ahmed, Chairman, Seed Association of Pakistan. President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industries Mian Anjum Nisar and former Chairman of Seed Association Rana Salman Mehmood were also present. Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said that hoarding and smuggling of wheat is a very serious issue as wheat grown in Punjab is smuggled illegally to KPK and from there to Afghanistan. He said that we have to meet our needs first and then after that wheat will be also available for brother provinces as well. Abdul Aleem Khan said that after taking charge of the Ministry of Food he did not impose any restriction on the transportation of inter-district wheat in Punjab but without a formal permit wheat could not be sent out of Punjab. Abdul Aleem Khan said that legitimate problems of seed companies will be resolved on priority basis as he realizes that sufficient quantity of seed is required for the next crop. He asked the Chairman of the Seed Association to prepare a list of actually working companies so that they could start supplying wheat in accordance with the rules and regulations of Food Department.
Chaudhary Bilal Ahmed, Chairman, Seed Association of Pakistan, said that so far wheat for seeds supplied to the seed companies is in very small quantity. He suggested that the Food Department should release wheat for seed so that flour can be cropped and harvested in the next season and there should be no shortage. He appreciated the steps taken to curb smuggling and hoarding and offered his all possible cooperation to Food Minister Abdul Aleem Khan on behalf of himself and his Association. President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries Mian Anjum Nisar and participants of the meeting congratulated Abdul Aleem Khan on assuming the post of Senior Minister of Punjab and appreciated the steps taken by him for the betterment of Food Department.