Daily The Business

Punjab Food Department delivers lack-luster performance

By K A Mian 

LAHORE: The Punjab Food Department (PFD), which is meant to update the province farmers, importers, exporters and other organisations dealing in foodstuff nationally and international, is itself lack-lustring as the official website has lastly been streamlined in 2015, Daily The Business has learnt here on Monday.

The Punjab Food Department of the Government of the Punjab has been flunked to provide latest information to the farmers of Punjab and the international importers since 2015 instead of getting billions of rupees annually, on the other hand the government had showed its commitments for revolution in the field of agriculture through reforms and advance technology, this scribe leant during the data analysis.

Official website last updated in 2015

According to data of official website of the PFD, the present government’s chief minister, food minister, secretary and all other responsible lucrative officers of its website including directors, deputy directors, etc have failed to update the official website of the Food Department since 2015 despite changing of two governments’ period. The data revealed that the core team, offices, rules and regulations, facilities, functions, committees, budget, services, initiatives and all above information desk as it had carried out extremely important information including data forms, guidelines, procurement procedure, tips, guidelines for growers, prices and rate lists, export of wheat process, notification regarding export of wheat, procurement process, SOPs for export of wheat, wheat specification, supporting price, guidelines for exporters, bank guarantee form, sugar and flour mills data hadn’t been contemporized unfortunately as it is directly linked with formers, buyers as well as international.
The data further revealed that Dr Pervaiz Ahmed Khan has been rendering his services as Secretary Food since February, 2015 till date. Similarly, all core team of secretary such as Syed Bilal Haider, Additional Secretary (Sept 8, 2015 – todate), Anjum Sardar, Deputy Secretary (March 2015 todate), Asif Bilal Lodhi, Director (Feb 2015 todate), Hafiz Ahmad Sher, Deputy Director Budget, Accounts Food Directorate Punjab (Dec 2014 todate) and Amir Muhammad Bermani, Deputy Director Food Directorate Punjab (Nov 2012 todate) have also been working presently in the food department despite shuffled all in various other public sector departments.
According to the government policy/ Protection of Grower’s Right, the each year Government announces support price of wheat to safeguard the interest of growers. The Provincial Food departments as well as PASSCO procure wheat from the growers directly at the minimum guaranteed price fixed by the government, vowed the data. In addition to this rate of wheat announced by the government in 2015-16 was Rs 3,250 100 kg and after that new rate list wasn’t uploaded, data disclosed.
Moreover, a total number of all flour mills data, number of roller bodies approved and its quota fixed in all districts of Punjab are available till 2009 while up to current year latest improvement aren’t accessible, data viewed. Even than the given data of high tech storage silos (HTSSs) expressed that there are around 39 HTS silos in Punjab including 15 in Faisalabad with capacity of each 3,300m tonnes, six in Islamabad with capacity of 5,000 tonnes, 10 in Multan with capacity of 38,000m tonnes and eight in Mana Hamdani with approximately capacity of 30,000m tonnes, whereas the present statics are entirely different. Likewise, the deteriorated detail of operational and non-operational sugar mills, crushing season and quota latest record across Punjab weren’t accessible.

Furthermore, the SOPs for export of wheat, procurement process, wheat specifications, guidelines for exporters and the most importantly the notification regarding wheat export was issued on February 17, 2015. The government of the Punjab has approved export of 400,000 MT of wheat/wheat flour (Ata) through private parties/exporters as per rate approved an export rebate of $55/MT against the export of wheat/ wheat flour (ata), read the notification. “Rebate of the $55/M.T will be released by the State Bank of Pakistan to export upon on submission of requisite export documents. The Food Department Punjab shall provide maximum facilitation to exporters for timely reimbursement of export rebate (55 $),”.

According to Right to Information Act, it had been directed to all public sectors department to nominate a Focal Person and also directed that the name of that’s person with his contact should be available at official websites, but the extreme important charter isn’t available at PFD website, data further explored.
While talking to Daily The Business experts said that the Pakistan couldn’t enter into the line of developed countries being agriculture country due to such lethargic attitude, irresponsible behaviour, non-professionalism and lack interest towards the growth national economy as all these are called faces of Pakistan. Adding insult to injury that the main sector which is contributing above 60 percent into the country GDP are playing its role to send the country into darkness instead moving it towards progress, experts lamented. How is it possible to ignore the importance of the digitalised media in present era, wherein people are mutually interconnected each other globally and having no distance, even away from few seconds or hardly just a click, the experts expressed.

It could be understood the incompetency of the food secretary even his level of seriousness towards the execution of the official takes and it’s apparently status of the official websites is best answer for everyone, privy to the information told The Business. The PFD had been neglected since long as compared to others public sector departments due to least interest and experience about the relevant post which is real cause of its destruction, official claimed.
When this scribe contacted Secretary Food Shoukat Ali to get his point of view about this lack-lustering issue, he was not available at his office and cell phone despite repeated attempts.


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