Islamabad: Pakistan’s wheat export to India could touch one million tonnes with Islamabad already allowing the export up to 500,000 tonnes and a bumper crop expected this year, a news report has said.
“The government has already allowed the private sector to export up to 500,000 tonnes of wheat that India could import by sea or by rail,” Secretary Food and Agriculture Muhammad Ismail Qureshi was quoted as saying by the Dawn daily.
He said the total wheat export could reach up to a million tonnes this year.
The official said India had floated tenders for import of a million tonnes of wheat and Pakistans private sector would be in a better position to compete with international wheat prices due to its lower transportation costs. Also, there is no tax or duties on export of wheat, he added.
Besides, transportation costs, India would also save on time by importing wheat from Pakistan via Lahore and Karachi to Delhi and Mumbai through the rail and sea routes.
Agricultural Development Commissioner Qadir Bakhsh Baloch told the daily that this was the first time that Pakistan had allowed wheat export to India.
Last week, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had formally approved the export of 500,000 tonnes of wheat to neighbouring countries, including India and Afghanistan.
“We will announce a new plan for more wheat exports after finalisation of crop figures,” Minister for Food Sikandar Hayat Bosan had said last week. The government is expecting wheat production to exceed 23 million tonnes, surpassing the current 22.5 million-tonnes target.
Last year, the country had produced 21.7 million tonnes of wheat. Baloch claimed that Pakistan had a confirmed demand of one million tonnes of wheat from India, the daily said.