KARACHI       -          Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders on Sunday blamed each other governments in the Centre and Sindh, respectively for their failure in overcoming the wheat shortage and increasing prices of flour in the city.

Addressing a presser at the Insaf House, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice President and parliamentary leader in the Sindh assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh said that the provincial government was directly responsible for the ongoing wheat flour crisis. Sheikh said for a last few days, some vested interests in Sindh were trying their best to hold the federal government responsible for the crisis.

He said, however, the facts told a different story, and exposed the ugly face of the provincial government, its corruption and mismanagement.

He said that there was a stockpile of 0.4 million tonnes of wheat reserved for Sindh in the godowns of Passco, but the Sindh government had only lifted 0.1 million tonnes of it, while the rest of the stock of 0.3 million tonnes was still lying in the Passco godowns, which were situated not in Lahore or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), but in Sindh. The PTI leader said when Nawaz Sharif was the country’s prime minister there was a pact to supply wheat to Afghanistan, but the PTI government withdrew from this agreement last July. Sheikh said that Rs9 billion were ‘looted’ by the rulers of Sindh, but the anti-corruption department of the province had yet to file its report in this regard.

He asked as to in whose pockets these Rs9 billion had actually landed?

He said that 0.3 million tonnes of wheat was lying in Passco godowns even today, and that, too, in Sindh, but the provincial government, in order to malign the federal government, had created this crisis of wheat.

He made it clear that the provincial government was responsible for supplying wheat to the flour mills and others associated with this business.

Regretting that Bilawal was making uproar over ‘injustice’ with Sindh, he said the injustice was done by those who had looted the government funds and minted money during wheat procurement and its distribution.

Haleem Adil Sheikh said that under the 18th Amendment the food department was now with the Sindh government, and hopefully Bilawal would also give a statement in this regard.

The PTI leader said corruption mafia in Sindh had sold 0.8 million tonnes of wheat to its favourites on credit, and made no recovery from them. He said now the NAB had taken action against them and recovered Rs10 billion.

He further said controlling the rate of wheat flour was also the responsibility of the Sindh government. He said today the Sindh food department had to repay Rs90billion loan it had borrowed from banks for wheat procurement.

Sheikh said that the federal government had started dispatching 10,000 tonnes of wheat to Karachi and Hyderabad through NLC trucks.

He said Ismail Rahu had become a liar ever since he joined the PPP.

He said Sindh IGPs had been transferred in the past as well, but no minister had ever read the charge sheet against them on media.

He said Kaleem Imam was still Sindh’s Inspector General of Police (IGP), and would remain so in future.

Speaking on the occasion, Firdous Shamim Naqvi said PTI wanted to raise the issues faced by public.

He said it was unfortunate the Sindh government only talked about good governance and transparency, but took no action.

He said wheat flour was given to Sindh at the rate of Rs34 per kg, but it is being sold at Rs80 per kg.

He said as Asif Zardari was involved in sugar price scam, his ministers were also involved in the wheat flour price scam.

He said the federal government was giving a subsidy to Sindh on wheat procurement.

He said most of the flour mills in Sindh were owned by the assembly members belonging to PPP, and they were to blame for this artificial crisis.

On the other hand, Sindh Minister for Information, Archives and Labour Saeed Ghani on Sunday while responding to the criticism of the members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, said that the whole country was facing wheat flour crisis owing to the incompetency of the federal government led by PTI.

Provincial Minister for Information made it clear that Sindh faced the crisis because of the transporters’ strike.

He said that as the transporters were on strike for the last few days, that’s why the wheat stored in the warehouses of Punjab and Balochistan could not be transported.

Ghani said the ‘failed’ policies of the federal government had forced the transporters to opt for the strike.

Provincial Minister for Information said that since the end of the transporters’ strike, 70,000 bags of wheat had arrived in the province.

He hoped that by expediting this process the wheat flour crisis would end in the province within next three to four days.

The PPP leader questioned that why those who were blaming the Sindh government for wheat flour crisis did not expose those behind the same crisis in Punjab?

The provincial minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan should seek pardon from the people for making them suffer so severely due to the shortage of wheat and increasing prices of flour.

He said that if the Sindh government had to blame the Sindh government for every blunder then the federal government should resign immediately by accepting its incompetence and failures.