Wheat purchased for Fata: KP food dept. yet to receive Rs 2.2bn dues
August 21, 2013
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Food Department was yet to receive an amount of Rs 2,200 million on head of wheat purchase outstanding against the Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (Fata) during the period of 2012-13. The Fata wheat purchase amount was exceeded at Rs 2,800 million due to delaying in quarterly releases of payments, which has forced the provincial food department to stop issuing wheat stock to tribal region during last three years, according to well-placed sources.
Though, the officials at the provincial food department said the Fata Directorate of Finance has made few releases during recent past. But, there is still payment of Rs 2,190 million outstanding against the Fata department. A quarterly instalment amounting of Rs 5,600,000 million was recently received by provincial food department, sources added.
However, the amount would be considered for the current fiscal year 2013-14, the sources said. Similarly, the official sources said that a major amount was also outstanding to settled areas as well.
The officials said that a summary was sent to KP Governor regarding the outstanding wheat amount to Fata areas. Similarly, they said several meetings also held with officials of authorities concerned at directorate of Fata, due to not quarterly releases of payments, which was hovering around Rs 2,800 million. The releases of wheat to Fata areas had stopped following the exceeding amount during three years, a senior official at the provincial food department told on condition of anonymity to this scribe.
The official said former KP governor, Masood Kausar, had recommended to issues wheat releases as per land cost to Fata areas. But, the Fata millers did not agree to purchase wheat at high cost, and they were purchasing the commodity. The officials said the issue of outstanding amount was also taken up by the former KP chief minister and chief secretary with Federal authorities, and meetings also held with the Ministry of Safron, for immediate issuance of amount to provincial food department. The Fata authorities, the officials said, would liable to pay 25 percent payment of wheat to provincial food department as per agreement, according to which quarterly payment will be ensured.
About the subsidy of wheat procurement, the officials said the provincial government had announced a subsidy of Rs 2.5 billion previous and that year, out of which Rs 2 billion was released during last season 2012-13. That year, they said the wheat subsidy was fixed at Rs 2.5 billion for procurement in the province, under which more than 400,000 metric ton wheat target was set in that season, which were not achieved.
Now, the officials said, the provincial food department was going to make an agreement with Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Corporation (Passco), which had ensured to the province to procure 400,000 metric ton wheat under the different phases. The officials said that in the first phase, more than 100,000 metric ton wheat would be procured after formal signing of agreement with Passco. Courtesy Business Recorder
Published in ZaraiMedia.com