Wheat scandal: PM Shehbaz suspends secretary food security

 Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif has suspended the secretary food security over a wheat import scandal.

The premier sacked Secretary Food Security Muhammad Asif with immediate affected and appointed Muhammad Fakhar-e-Alam as the new secretary.

The Establishment Division has also issued a notification regarding the appointment of Muhammad Fakhar-e-Alam.

The action followed after the premier took notice of the wheat import scandal.

The initial reports on wheat import scandal revealed shocking details.

According to sources, the initial report stated that the federal institutions are responsible for the unnecessary import of wheat. Despite existing reserves of 40.47 lakh metric tons in Punjab, an additional 35.87 lakh metric tons were imported, creating an artificial shortage.

Sources said that the report suspects officials from the Punjab Food Department and Pasco of involvement in the scandal.

The investigation has found that wheat was imported at a cost of Rs 2600-2900 per maund and sold at a higher price of Rs 4700 per maund.

The import permission was granted for 1 million metric tons, but it was exceeded without limit, sources added.

Sources revealed that the federal institutions allowed private companies to import wheat without proper checks, and some officials from the Ministry of Finance also failed to scrutinize the large-scale import.

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