Government Launches Investigation into Former Food Ministry Secretary Over Wheat Import Scandal

Wheat Imports Scandal

The federal government has decided to launch an inquiry into the actions of the former Secretary in charge of National Food Security and Research, Captain (R) Asif Tamman, regarding the wheat import scandal. This move comes after it was discovered that Pakistan is still importing wheat despite claims of self-sufficiency.

Captain (R) Asif Tamman served in the position from January 25 to May 2, 2024, and was removed by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif once the scandal came to light. The Establishment Division has forwarded a summary to the PM seeking approval to start the inquiry.

The Ministry of Food and the Ministry of Commerce are typically responsible for dealing with wheat crops and import-related matters. However, in this case, the Establishment Division has only requested an inquiry into Captain (R) Asif’s actions.

This move comes as Punjab faces a wheat abundance crisis due to the heavy import of grain by the caretaker government close to the local harvesting time. Despite running a “grow more wheat” drive, the provincial government has not purchased any wheat from local farmers, leaving them to sell their produce at a low price of Rs. 1,000 per 40kg, far below the official minimum support price of Rs. 3,900 per 40 kg.

The inquiry aims to uncover the truth behind the wheat import scandal and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.